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Author Topic: Bus use by the over 60s  (Read 1380 times)
grahame
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« on: July 06, 2018, 06:47:15 pm »

Some interesting tables ... with updates due later this month.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/nts06-age-gender-and-modal-breakdown#table-nts0604

Example:

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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2018, 07:01:06 pm »

And at the opposite end in terms of age, what mode children use to get to school

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CyclingSid
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2018, 01:41:06 pm »

Presumably at some stage these figures should be affected by th decline in bus services mentioned elsewhere.

It presumably won't include accurate figures from local passenger transport authorities like Hampshire County Council whose definition of eligibility are different to Reading's:

Quote
Who can apply
        Women at pensionable age
        Men at the pensionable age of a woman born on the same day
https://www.hants.gov.uk/transport/trafficandtravel/publictransport/buspasses/olderpersonsbuspass

I would probably still be waiting.
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2018, 02:35:43 pm »

Presumably at some stage these figures should be affected by th decline in bus services mentioned elsewhere.

It presumably won't include accurate figures from local passenger transport authorities like Hampshire County Council ...

I think the figures are genuinely over 60s.

I notice a rise from 16% to 20% (that's a rise of a quarter) in the most frequent bus use category from 2003 to 2008, followed by a drop back by the same amount to 2016.   And a drop from 47% to 39% of those who never use the but (that's about a fifth) from 2003 to 2008, again followed by a reversal from 2008 to 2016.

Why the drop in bus use by the over 60s in the latter part of the days?
- Fewer bus services available
- ENCTS bus passes moving up from a starting age of 60 to 66
- Compounded by some significant rises in bus ticket costs
Could also be more people still driving, more community buses, home shopping and delivery / on line ordering reducing the need to travel.

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Four Track, Now!
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2018, 10:26:18 pm »

I have 3 years to go before I am eligible. Assuming there are still buses and bus passes by then, I shall certainly make use of the facility, and use a lot less petrol in so doing.
Something that government has not done for many years is say what the purpose of bus passes is. Is it to help struggling pensioners, help struggling bus companies, cut fossil fuel use, or make the roads safer by taking fossil drivers out of their cars? As things go, it isn't really doing any of those particularly well, and is probably kept as an alternative to electoral suicide.
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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2018, 07:04:43 pm »

I would agree with some of Jeremy Corbyn's recent comments about a bus pass being pointless if more & more buses are being cut. 

I also feel that for some excluding bus pass use till gone 0930 limits the days out that pensioners can have. Most bus users want to arrive at their final destination before lunchtime.  Not being able to use their pass before 0930 will put a lot of pensioners of traveling if they have to take more than one bus / travel a greater distance to reach their final destination. I live in Frome & the only way to get to Wells market on a Saturday is to take 2 buses & travel via Bath. Myself & fellow bus campaigner Lucy usually depart Frome at 7am that to  arrive in Wells roughly before 11am fortunately we are not of pensionable age yet.  With more possible bus cuts it will only make it harder to travel around using just one bus that's if you are lucky to have any at all
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grahame
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2018, 08:01:37 pm »

I would agree with some of Jeremy Corbyn's recent comments about a bus pass being pointless if more & more buses are being cut.

I would have to agree that it's tending that way.

What have these places in common?
- Uckfield
- Maidenhead
- Orpington
- Weybridge
- Epsom

Two answers:
a) They are the House of Commons seats of Department for Transport Ministers and the bosses at the Treasury and in Downing Street who are their Lords and Masters
b) The are all in London and the affluent South East - the stockbroker belt of London and outside London with relatively high population densities in towns and urban areas that are close together, large in size, and have massive commuter flows.

I used to live in Orpington.  We had no car regularly available until pretty close to the time I left home and we didn't need one.   Trains and buses were good,  frequent, ran as late as we needed them.   And whilst things and routes have changed (I looked it up) that same setup and style would still be possible.   So for Jo Johnson's voters, in Orpington, the slippery slope of a public transport service that only starts at school time,  finishes after the children are taken home to a large degree, and is such a thin web that doglegs are often needed doesn't apply - and in Orpington the senior bus pass, even with an 09:30 start, remains useful.

Quote
I also feel that for some excluding bus pass use till gone 0930 limits the days out that pensioners can have. Most bus users want to arrive at their final destination before lunchtime.  Not being able to use their pass before 0930 will put a lot of pensioners of traveling if they have to take more than one bus / travel a greater distance to reach their final destination. I live in Frome & the only way to get to Wells market on a Saturday is to take 2 buses & travel via Bath. Myself & fellow bus campaigner Lucy usually depart Frome at 7am that to  arrive in Wells roughly before 11am fortunately we are not of pensionable age yet.  With more possible bus cuts it will only make it harder to travel around using just one bus that's if you are lucky to have any at all

Alas, Melksham and Frome are not Orpington and Epsom.

But yet ... the feeling in 'these parts' that you're a bit weird to use the train, and really down on your luck if you have to rely on the bus, has been somewhat changing.  Contrary to the general trend, both Frome and Melksham have had significant bus improvements into Bath this year and elements of the local community are working really hard to make them work.   The commercial strength of a nice juicy route between two bigger places with a natural link (e.g. Frome and Bath) versus a route between two places not collectively as large or linked does mean that the bigger arteries grow while the capillaries falter in the lack of local or central government support.

I haven't really answered "what is the point of a bus pass".   A bit of everything suggested, I think. 
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Adelante_CCT
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« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2018, 08:33:25 pm »

4 hours from Frome to Wells?
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Four Track, Now!
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« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2018, 10:02:01 pm »

It is worth pointing out that bus pass holders are not barred from taking the bus before 9.30, they just have to pay a fare. This leads to ingenuity, and compassion on the part of drivers.  I have been told by one lady that she asked to buy a ticket on the bus from Tiverton to Exeter, because it was before 9.30am. The fare is around 8 return. The driver asked if she had a pass, which she confirmed. "Buy a single to Willand, then. We leave there at 9.31" he said.

There used to be much trying on by the Twirlies in Bristol, boarding before the appointed time, then asking "Am I twirly, drive?". Some drivers would turn a blind eye, but that ceased with the advent of the latest ticket machines. I myself tried to buy a "Night Rider", cheaper than the day ticket in Bristol, to be told by the driver that it was only 6.59pm, this despite the smart new CIS at the bus stop showing 7.01. Realising I was getting nowhere, and seeing another bus pulling in behind, I got off, and bought the ticket on the bus behind, which promptly left first.

My favourite tale of bus times comes from a day in Bristol when I had taken the car home from work on the day of the office piss-up Christmas dinner, and was waiting for the bus back. Two ladies of a certain age were producing lots of birdsong, but looked at their watches in astonishment as the bus approached.
"You'm a minute early, Drive," said the first as got on. "That's nice."
"I'm actually 11 minutes late, madam" answered the driver.
"That's terrible" she said, and the two of them tutted and said how it was never like that in the olden days until I got off, a stop early.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2018, 09:55:24 pm by Four Track, Now! » Logged

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bobm
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« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2018, 10:16:47 pm »

I regularly travel across Swindon to collect my post.   I always try to avoid the bus which heads back into town at 09:20.  Every time I have we have been delayed at stop after stop as passholders get on and try to use their pass.  The machine, correctly, rejects it.  There then follows a conversation where they express incredulity that it is before 09:30 and then either get off or delve into their bag for a purse or pocket for a wallet and stump up the cash.  This happens all along the route until we get to 09:30.  On occasions we have even been overtaken by the bus which is supposed to follow us 10 minutes later.

It is worth pointing out that Swindon Buses (formerly Thamesdown) allows passholders to travel before 09:30 on payment of a child fare.
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grahame
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2018, 06:25:37 am »

I regularly travel across Swindon to collect my post.   I always try to avoid the bus which heads back into town at 09:20.  ...

It is worth pointing out that bus pass holders are not barred from taking the bus before 9.30, they just have to pay a fare. This leads to ingenuity, and compassion on the part of drivers ...

Looking back, a number of local authorities use to allow passes to be used from 09:00, picking up the "extra" cost in local taxation as the government only mandates the scheme from 09:30.  However, the accountants at many councils looked at the cost of journeys that were made in that half hour and restricted the scheme - on the assumption (it would appear) that people who joined buses in those 30 minutes on their passes would start to pay.

Alas, the assumption for the most part was wrong.

Senior pass holders now tend to wait for 09:30 before starting their journeys.  So buses after 09:30 have become much busier, and buses in the 09:00 to 09:30 timeslot are carrying fresh air; 09:00 to 09:30 is post-peak for most people travelling to work or to education.   And this means that (in places) the first bus after 09:30 can no longer take all the people who want to travel on it ... a nightmare for the bus companies who are left with choices of bigger vehicles (for that one journey a day!),  additional services (and where do they get the bus and driver at a sensible price to do that?), or leaving people behind. 

Travel at child / half fares for seniors has been adopted by a number of operators; as the payment the bus operator receives from the local council for a senior journey often roughly equates with a child fare, it makes sense.  However, many seniors take the principled view that "I'm entitled to free travel" and will wait for the witching hour of 09:30 - they are in no rush having retired, and having all day to make their trip.  So the concession by the bus companies only has a limited take-up.

Logic suggests that scrapping the senior card, allowing seniors to travel at child fares at all times, and giving seniors back the council money saved might be a good idea.  But sometimes logic is lacking in public transport, and if we were to give our seniors back the money which we've taken from them over the years, goodness only knows in what irresponsible way they might spend it  Smiley .
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grahame
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2018, 06:41:58 am »

4 hours from Frome to Wells?

With multiple operators - Frome Minibuses or Libra Travel, with a  change into a First bus along the way,  much quicker journey is possible - between one and a half and two and a half hours on a Monday to Friday. For today (Sunday) , I'm being offered options between 2 hours 15 minutes and 3 hours 34 minutes - both of those two involving a train and a bus, and even if both legs are operated by the same parent company, the cost is going to be well in excess of the Bath Outer Zone 6.50 return of a First bus both ways.

I can well believe that at certain times of the week, it would take 4 hours from turning up at your local D2 stop in Frome to getting to the centre of Wells; timings above are centre to centre.

By the way - driving, 18 miles, 33 minutes according to Google.
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martyjon
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« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2018, 07:11:03 am »

In pre ENCTS days my LA gave tokens value 15 per annum to over 60's for travel, train OR bus which at my rate of travel would equate to less than 1 weeks local travel. At present I estimate my ENCTS usage saves me in excess of 800 per annum if I had to pay bus fares which would reduce to 500 if I were to always buy day tickets in the areas I were travelling in.
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« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2018, 07:43:38 am »

4 hours from Frome to Wells?

With multiple operators - Frome Minibuses or Libra Travel, with a  change into a First bus along the way,  much quicker journey is possible - between one and a half and two and a half hours on a Monday to Friday. For today (Sunday) , I'm being offered options between 2 hours 15 minutes and 3 hours 34 minutes - both of those two involving a train and a bus, and even if both legs are operated by the same parent company, the cost is going to be well in excess of the Bath Outer Zone 6.50 return of a First bus both ways.

I can well believe that at certain times of the week, it would take 4 hours from turning up at your local D2 stop in Frome to getting to the centre of Wells; timings above are centre to centre.

By the way - driving, 18 miles, 33 minutes according to Google.

Looking at next Saturday one could leave Frome at 08:52 on the D2 and arrive Wells at 11:00 on the 174 changing at Bloomfield
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didcotdean
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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2018, 07:47:31 am »

Surprising considering what else has gone in Oxfordshire, the locally issued passes still do give free travel in the county from 9:00.
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