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Author Topic: The move from driving a car to using the bus  (Read 2406 times)
grahame
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« on: February 10, 2019, 08:30:52 am »

There gets to be a time in life where habitual car drivers have to give up - there's a case on The BBC overnight.  And at that point, they may be engaging in fewer activities so the need to get around may lessen, but it will still be there.

Senior bus passes provide an excellent way of encouraging people still get out without having to drive - provided that there's bus services from where they are to where they want to go.  The bus pass is encouraging to people to get out, but it's not actually 100% necessary; a number of seniors I have spoken to have said things like "I can't catch the 08:30 bus" when they can - they just have to pay - but the take the moral position that they should not pay as the bus pass encourages them to later services.  There is also the aspect that many of them are scraping around for money, and that certain buses have very high fares for short journeys to the shops / doctor.

The gentleman who's no longer driving now has an hourly bus - but day time only - calling at his Norfolk place. It runs to King's Lynn and Hunstanton (not sure if those would be his chosen destinations?) and there are 4 services, at intervals of 2 hours on a Sunday.   Once in King's Lynn, train services onwards connect him with the rest of the UK and he can get a third off with a senior rail card.  I do suspect his financial and security situation allow him to be driven in private transport and any bus trips would be for publicity purposes, but still and interesting study.

He and his wife have - if I have counted right - three other homes!   One in Central London is crawling with public transport and he should have no problems getting around "in town".  A second one has a couple of railway stations not far from the gates; I have not checked on local bus services.  Sadly, the third one is going to be a real problem - the railway line was lost as part of the "Beeching Axe" half a century ago, and the bus (every 2 hours, Monday to Saturday only) takes over 2 hours with 2 changes (or is it the same vehicle) to reach his railhead.
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martyjon
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2019, 09:38:30 am »

Send im a copy of yer Melksham Train Guide which was available at yesterdays forum meet.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2019, 09:57:36 am »

Sadly, the third one is going to be a real problem ...

There is, of course, a reopening campaign. Maybe the old gentleman in question might think about giving it his seal of approval? Here's his local station, just waiting for the track to be relaid!


By Chalkietom - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16778429
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2019, 11:14:26 am »

If bus passes were means tested (as they should be) rather than universal, I fear the gentleman being alluded to hear may just miss out.
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martyjon
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2019, 11:46:44 am »

If bus passes were means tested (as they should be) rather than universal, I fear the gentleman being alluded to hear may just miss out.

If bus passes were to be means tested they should be means tested up to a certain age (say 75) and then issued universally. Many pensioners have a largish pension pot at pensionable age which then diminishes as time flies by to become asset rich but cash poor by the time they reach their late seventies or eighties.

One problem with bus passes being the availability to older folk living in rural communities with no bus service to use them on.
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eXPassenger
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2019, 12:58:51 pm »

This is great in theory, however the problem is the speed of a roundabout route.

If I had attended yesterdays meeting in Westbury by public transport I would have spent:
26 minutes on a bus to Weston s Mare (free)
17 minutes waiting
1 hour 27 minutes by train including 12 minutes at Bristol (£15.75 return)
Total time 2 hours 10 minutes

The return has less good connections and takes 2 hours 56 minutes.

Or I can drive it in 1 hour each way with a direct fuel cost of around £2.00.
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grahame
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2019, 02:15:37 pm »

This is great in theory, however the problem is the speed of a roundabout route.

...

Or I can drive it in 1 hour each way with a direct fuel cost of around £2.00.

Oh, I totally agree. Hence my comment about Phil's future journeys and whether they're to King's Lynn or somewhere else.  I will admit to driving to Westbury yesterday, mainly because of all the gubbins I had with me.  To some extent, a longer time taken by public transport can be justified if you want to work, sleep, eat, drink, relax on the way - personally, I'll take the train even if it's somewhat longer to avoid ending up too tired and at the same time making use of Transit time.   I do understand there were a lot of Cardiff fans on the train to Portsmouth, via Westbury and Southampton, yesterday to the extent that wort would have been hard.

But - another example of driving - I had an duty to perform from 12:00 to 14:00 at Chippenham Station the week before last. 10 minute train journey from Melksham - easy - right?    Wrong - an infrequent train service would have had me leaving home at 09:42 for a 12:00 start, and getting back at 16:05.  I drove, 11:20 from home, 14:40 back.  Happily take the train if it takes a bit longer, but setting a shift for 12:00 to 14:00 - missing the two hourly train at each end by 15 minutes - looked like it was taking the Mick.
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LiskeardRich
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2019, 03:23:31 pm »

I see several seniors regularly who use their pass to get out and just ride the bus on a round trip, only getting off at the far terminus before rejoining and tapping back in. They seem to make conversation with other passengers or the driver (myself), so I guess a social service as well.
I hear it often from these seniors that without their free travel they’d be sat at home on their own. They particularly like the scenic routes. I work a slow route from Newquay to Truro leaving Newquay 5 minutes behind the fast bus however I seem to get several seniors wait for me rather than use the fast bus.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2019, 03:56:05 pm »

I see several seniors regularly who use their pass to get out and just ride the bus on a round trip, only getting off at the far terminus before rejoining and tapping back in. They seem to make conversation with other passengers or the driver (myself), so I guess a social service as well.
I hear it often from these seniors that without their free travel they’d be sat at home on their own.
They particularly like the scenic routes. I work a slow route from Newquay to Truro leaving Newquay 5 minutes behind the fast bus however I seem to get several seniors wait for me rather than use the fast bus.
I know someone who's a postman. He says they're told to keep an eye on certain people on their rounds, mostly elderly people living alone, just to check for signs of anything obviously wrong and to engage them in conversation as opportunity arises. I guess milkmen might have fulfilled a similar role in days of yore.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2019, 04:48:21 pm »

If bus passes were means tested (as they should be) rather than universal, I fear the gentleman being alluded to hear may just miss out.

If bus passes were to be means tested they should be means tested up to a certain age (say 75) and then issued universally. Many pensioners have a largish pension pot at pensionable age which then diminishes as time flies by to become asset rich but cash poor by the time they reach their late seventies or eighties.

One problem with bus passes being the availability to older folk living in rural communities with no bus service to use them on.

Free rail travel on the same basis too?
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chuffed
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« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2019, 06:20:03 pm »

I don't think the wider benefits of the bus pass are considered enough especially by central government who cannot see anything in front of their nose, apart from Brexit. If the users were stuck at home all day, they'd be ringing for home visits from the GP/district nurses,meals on wheels, and home helps. With the bus they get out and about for some physical and mental stimulation, contribute to the local economy just by buying cake and a coffee,( perhaps not in Patisserie Valerie) and increase their well being. Surely a little activity in life, puts off the day a little longer, when they have to become more passively dependent. I just think it's a win win situation all the way round, and saves some money for  the NHS/ social care budget in the long run.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 06:30:08 pm by chuffed » Logged
TonyK
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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2019, 07:11:38 pm »

It';s more than that. When a 97-year-old war veteran runs out of lager, it's much safer for everyone concerned if he takes the bus, rather than the car.
Being serious, my mum drove into her 80s, and not just around town. She would do Lancashire - Norfolk - Oxfordshire - Bristol then back to Lancashire over a period of a couple of weeks, visiting family, but she had a near miss one day, 200 yards from home. She said she didn't see him coming, and it was time to stop. So she handed the car over to my brother. She said she would not have been able to do so without a second thought, but for the buses and trams close by, all free with her pass. So apart from letting the elderly get out of the house, the bus pass is an encouragement for those who really don't feel up to driving any more to stop before they do some real damage. I knew one lady, living where buses are a rarity, who continued to drive despite being registered blind! She could still see just about in the daytime, never went out at night, and took some convoluted routes to avoid having to turn right.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2019, 07:41:41 pm »

It';s more than that. When a 97-year-old war veteran runs out of lager, it's much safer for everyone concerned if he takes the bus, rather than the car.
Being serious, my mum drove into her 80s, and not just around town. She would do Lancashire - Norfolk - Oxfordshire - Bristol then back to Lancashire over a period of a couple of weeks, visiting family, but she had a near miss one day, 200 yards from home. She said she didn't see him coming, and it was time to stop. So she handed the car over to my brother. She said she would not have been able to do so without a second thought, but for the buses and trams close by, all free with her pass. So apart from letting the elderly get out of the house, the bus pass is an encouragement for those who really don't feel up to driving any more to stop before they do some real damage. I knew one lady, living where buses are a rarity, who continued to drive despite being registered blind! She could still see just about in the daytime, never went out at night, and took some convoluted routes to avoid having to turn right.

You can get a free bus pass in many areas at 60. 60 is not "elderly".....raise the age and/or means test it. There are a whole raft of benefits  (TV licence being another one, currently under review, Winter fuel payment etc) which are handed out without any consideration of means testing. Just think of the revenue that is being foregone due to this.

Ironically Prince Phillip may start using his now! 🙂
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chuffed
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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2019, 08:37:06 pm »

TG the bus pass age is the same as the state female pension age....in my case 65 years and 8 months. Please do not make wild assumptions about eligibility. It has not been 60 for a long long time in the vast majority of England. London Wales Scotland and Northern Ireland do issue them at 60 so perhaps any means testing should start there first.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 08:44:14 pm by chuffed » Logged
TaplowGreen
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« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2019, 09:47:04 pm »

TG the bus pass age is the same as the state female pension age....in my case 65 years and 8 months. Please do not make wild assumptions about eligibility. It has not been 60 for a long long time in the vast majority of England. London Wales Scotland and Northern Ireland do issue them at 60 so perhaps any means testing should start there first.

Which is why I said "in many areas", not "all" or even the majority. I'm not given to making wild assumptions. I'm afraid I'm boring like that & prefer facts 🙂......I just happen to think that universal benefits such as these are not the best use of (scarce) public resources as they do not take into account an individuals means.....perhaps unifying the age bus passes are granted at 75 nationally would be a start?

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