Currently, people who have a Disabled NoWCard pay a flat fare of 50p to travel on local weekday bus journeys before 9.30am. The council is now consulting on a proposal to raise this to £1.
The 50p fare has remained unchanged since its introduction in April 2008. The increase, if adopted, would bring the borough into line with Lancashire County Council.
As part of the national concessionary travel scheme, Disabled NoWCard holders would continue to receive free travel:
- between 9.30am and 11pm on weekdays
- all day on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays
Councillor Phil Riley, Executive Member for Regeneration, explained the reasoning:
We are committed to providing the best services we can for people in Blackburn and Darwen, particularly the most vulnerable in our communities. That’s why we offer extra concessions to disabled NoWcard holders to allow them to travel outside the times of the national scheme.
Unfortunately, we are facing unprecedented financial challenges due to continued funding cuts by the Government, rising costs and a rising demand for the services we provide. These challenges will continue so we need to make some difficult decisions to ensure that the council is in a long-term position to continue to offer these services.
The proposed £1 charge for peak morning travel before 9.30am is still good value for money and I stress that it is only a proposal at this stage. I would therefore urge people to take part in the consultation.
You can take part in the consultation via the online link https://theshuttle.org.uk/consultation-on-proposed-changes-to-concessionary-disabled-travel-card-scheme/ Remember to click 'Submit'.
Please mail your completed questionnaire to The Transport Team, Old Town Hall, King William Street, Blackburn, BB1 7DY by Friday, August 17.
All responses will be in confidence. If there are any questions that you do not want to answer, please leave them blank. Please read the instructions to each question carefully before answering.