Friday 06 April 2012
Boris Johnson has pledged to ensure, if re-elected, that the 24-hour Freedom Pass is available to all 60 and overs in London from 1st September 2012.
By meeting his promise, he will reverse the decision made by the last Labour government to increase the age at which Londoners qualify for free travel. The pledge will mean that, from 1st September 2012, any resident of London aged 60 or older will be entitled to free travel on the bus, Tube, DLR and London Overground anywhere, anytime, any place in Greater London.
The announcement came as Boris Johnson launched his manifesto for older Londoners. Other key highlights from the manifesto include:
- Lobbying the Train Operating Companies to extend the Freedom Pass for use on suburban rail before 9.30am.
- Introducing a Courtesy Card to require those under 16s who benefit from free travel on the buses to treat other travellers with respect.
- Protecting the expansion of step free stations as part of the Tube upgrade from Ken Livingstone’s plans to take £1.14 billion out of the transport budget.
- Expanding accessible bus stops to 70 per cent of the network.
- Prioritising households over the age of 60 for the RE:NEW programme to help the average household save £180 a year on their energy bills.
- Promoting volunteering programmes that help older Londoners, such as the Team London scheme to help more than 600 people aged over 60 to learn and improve their IT skills.
- Working with partners to encourage well over 1,000 street parties across Greater London to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to help reduce the social isolation some older people can feel by fostering a sense of neighbourliness.
Boris Johnson said:
“It is vital that we protect concessions for those who need them and have worked hard and paid into the system all their life. That is why I extended the Freedom Pass to 24 hours a day on the Transport for London network to make travel easier for older Londoners.
“But there is more to do. I feel like a man who has built half a bridge. I can see the other side and what needs to be done.
“That is why if elected, I will protect the full 24-hour Freedom Pass and will lobby hard for the private Train Operating Companies to offer a similar peak-time concession to Freedom Pass holders. And I will reverse the last Labour Government’s decision to raise the age of eligibility for the Freedom Pass to 65 so that Londoners travel free when they turn 60, from 1st September 2012.
Notes to editor:
Read the manifesto for older Londoners here
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