Opinion: Increase in park-and-ride bus ticket prices is an insult to county’s over-60s

PUBLISHED: 13:12 01 May 2014 | UPDATED: 13:57 01 May 2014

Norfolk County Council unveil the 'Holdall', the new smartcard which park-and-ride bus passengers can use to pay for their journeys.

Norfolk County Council unveil the 'Holdall', the new smartcard which park-and-ride bus passengers can use to pay for their journeys.

Keith Whitmore

Mrs Frankie Horn, from Weavers Close, Horsham St Faith, gives us her opinion on park-and-ride bus ticket prices.

I use the airport park-and-ride facility about three times a week to get into the city. 
This used to cost me £13.20 per month, using the daily £1.10 return any time ticket.

It will now cost me £42, paying the non-concession rate of £3.50 per day for any time return, because I do not wish to be dictated to regarding my return time. The alternative is to pay £1.70, the new concession rate, if I don’t travel between 4pm and 6pm. This increase is exorbitant.

The bus drivers I have spoken to are unhappy about the complicated new rates and are forever explaining these to every customer, and are having to suffer some verbal abuse as a result. Some older people can’t grasp the new system and are confused.

Park-and-ride buses were cut to one every 15 minutes last year, I believe, instead of one every 10 minutes. The airport park-and-ride station building has been closed for a couple of years and there are no toilet facilities. They close around 6.30pm every night, except on Thursdays and are closed on Sundays – so are of no use if you want to go into the city in the evening or on a Sunday.

I am a retired businesswoman and realise prices are always increasing due to the economic situation – but to take such advantage of the over-60s in this case is a total disgrace. Do they want to keep us all out of Norwich? I am incensed at this ageist attitude.

We spend money in the city, we meet friends for coffee or lunch, we visit theatres, cinemas, galleries, we shop, we visit the library and The Forum, we catch up with families, we take grandchildren out.

We sometimes catch onward buses from Norwich Bus Station for hospital or clinic visits etc, or to visit other places. We welcome and use our park-and-ride facilities and feel very aggrieved at the latest insulting increase. If we all start bringing our cars into the city, there will be geriatric gridlock.

Do you agree?

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