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Free bus pass withdrawn from Exeter hospital service

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: March 05, 2014

By Mike Byrne

RD&E
Comments (3)

Free bus passes will not be valid on the city’s PR3 service to the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital.

The decision has been taken despite 83 per cent of those who took part in consulatation were against the the idea.

Devon County Council will exclude the service from the scheme so the National Bus Pass will not be valid for free travel on the service.

However, the bus company has decided to offer a special return fare of £1.20 to national bus pass holders.

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More than 2,300 people responded to county council’s consultation about public transport, with the majority supporting proposals to make budget savings.

Tourists and visitors are also set to have their free bus use cut, The results of the consultation, which will be put into operation from April 1,

The National Bus Pass will stop being used on services running mostly for tourists. This includes a number of summer services including the 82 Exeter-Tavistock “Transmoor Link”

The pass will not be valid on special bus services 77, 78 and Service C to Exeter Chiefs matches at Sandy Park;

The pass will not be valid on services that are bookable in advance, such as day trips run by some community buses;

Free travel will allowed before 9.30am, only when there is no other bus before 11.30am instead of 11am;

-The cost of replacing a lost Bus Pass will rise from £8 to £10. The County Council replaces nearly 2,000 lost passes per year

The cost of travel for students over the age of 16 on County subsidised services in northern Devon will rise from £396 to £500 a year, bringing them in line with charges for all over-16 students across the rest of the county.

All of these proposals will go ahead from 1 April 2014.

Devon County Council’s Public Transport Service has needed to make savings of just over £760,000 during 2014/15. More than £655,000 of savings, had already been achieved mainly through efficiencies in the administration of the Concessionary Bus Travel scheme.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “A number of people who responded to the survey suggested the introduction of a nominal fee for a bus pass, making the bus pass means tested, or make a small contribution towards bus fares. However, Devon County is not able to follow any of these suggested changes as, under the legislation, any of them would have to come from central Government.”

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3 comments

  • kazfielder  |  March 05 2014, 6:54PM

    I work for the RD&E hospital and never knew that we could get privalges on the H service bus? We used to be able to show our NHS identitiy badge and get one third off our bus fare but that was pulled a couple of years ago????

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  • zengintepe1  |  March 05 2014, 9:42AM

    I don't think the article makes it clear that the main bus to the RD&E (the H) is not affected and passengers can still use their passes on that service.

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  • kazfielder  |  March 05 2014, 8:17AM

    I never even knew that this service existed!!!!!

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