Barrow MP calls for rethink over bus pass move
Last updated at 14:45, Wednesday, 18 April 2012
BARROW and Furness MP John Woodcock has called on bus company Stagecoach to meet with disgruntled parents at a public meeting.
The shadow minister for transport will arrange the meeting after an outcry over Stagecoach’s decision to scrap its monthly childrens’ Megarider pass.
The change, which came into effect with no warning this week, means children using the pass are now charged at adult rates, costing parents roughly an extra £100 per child a year.
Mr Woodcock said it was outrageous that Stagecoach would charge children travelling to and from school on the Megarider pass as adults.
He said: “Bus services are being squeezed by severe cuts in support from government that kick in this month, but making children pay the adult fare is totally wrong.
“This will put a severe burden on families and be a barrier to young people using public transport.
“Stagecoach need to rethink this.
“I hope they and the council will attend a meeting I will be arranging to discuss the matter with parents.”
The support from Mr Woodcock comes as a Facebook page set up to protest the changes topped 4,000 members and more than 525 people had signed an online petition.
Concerned mum Caron Harris has written to Stagecoach’s local area managing director, Nigel Winter, on behalf of the Facebook group, urging the company to reconsider its changes. She said that many Barrow parents were already struggling financially from increases in utilities, fuel, taxes and food and were “truly living hand-to-mouth”.
“Parents across the area are now in a state of alarm and, indeed, desperation caused by this business decision, taken by your company, which will result in fare hikes of 50 per cent,” the letter read.
“It is our view that, as a contractor with a local monopoly, your company has a social responsibility to the community who give you this business.”
A time, date and venue for the public meeting will be announced soon.
The petition is available at www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/buspassfurness.
First published at 13:14, Wednesday, 18 April 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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Nice to see he followed the lead of the Cumbria UKIP guy and backed the people