In Defence of ENCTS: Why Concessionary Travel is a Social Good

How reduced rate travel connects people with places, and does so very well

First Greater Manchester YJ51 RAU, Ashton Bus Station
YJ51 RAU a Volvo B7TL seen on the 389 service at Ashton-under-Lyne bus station to Hyde via Ridge Hill and Yew Tree estates.

 

This week saw mixed messages for passengers on the national concessionary travel scheme. To start with, a 36 year old disabled man won £5,500 damages after it was stated his local bus operator breached the 2010 Equality Act. He was denied access to a Leeds bound bus as a woman with a pushchair refused to budge. Continue reading “In Defence of ENCTS: Why Concessionary Travel is a Social Good”

Cuts Scene Investigation: Greater Manchester’s Bus Network

East of the M60 on a possible gloomy outlook for Greater Manchester’s subsidised routes

Under Threat: Socially necessary services such as the 343 from Oldham to Hyde.

The last two years have been pretty good for Greater Manchester’s bus users. First Greater Manchester and Stagecoach Manchester have introduced new vehicles, either with electric-hybrid engines or free WiFi. Elsewhere, System One Travelcards have held the prices of their season tickets till April of this year. Patronage has increased; given the profit motive in today’s operations, it is most obviously trunk routes like the 330, 409 or 192 which have prospered. Continue reading “Cuts Scene Investigation: Greater Manchester’s Bus Network”

‘Stop For Me, Speak To Me’ Challenge: Mission Accomplished

Bus drivers swap places with blind and partially sighted passengers

Stagecoach Manchester drivers.
Stagecoach Manchester drivers and Christopher Bowles. (Photograph: © 2013 Tangerine PR).

Last week on East of the M60, a number of employees from Stagecoach Manchester, its managing director Christopher Bowles and the MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, Paul Goggins, were about to participate in a series of simulation exercises for the RNIB. The purpose of which was to highlight the barriers faced by people with sight loss travelling on our region’s buses. Continue reading “‘Stop For Me, Speak To Me’ Challenge: Mission Accomplished”

‘Stop For Me, Speak To Me’: RNIB Set Role Reversal Challenge

Bus drivers to swap places with blind and partially sighted passengers

A group of bus drivers and a local MP are set to face an unusual challenge this Friday, when they swap places with blind and partially sighted people from Greater Manchester. This is in support of a new campaign from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). Continue reading “‘Stop For Me, Speak To Me’: RNIB Set Role Reversal Challenge”

Hidden Impairments and (Stubbornly Refusing to Claim) DLA

International Day of People With Disability, 03 December 2012: Why I Refused to Claim Disability Living Allowance

On account of having an Autism Spectrum Condition, I had had been told by friends and family that I should consider applying for Disability Living Allowance and Employment Support Allowance. Instead, I had opted for Jobseekers’ Allowance whilst unemployed, a decision which could have cost me an extra £20 – 30 per week on top of the present full JSA rate 0f £71.00. Being an in-work benefit as well as an out-of-work one, DLA and ESA would have tided me over if working a week or month in hand. It would have ensured eligibility for concessionary fares and free off-peak bus travel anywhere in England (good, though I would have lost out considering the number of peak hour journeys I make). Continue reading “Hidden Impairments and (Stubbornly Refusing to Claim) DLA”