A campaign to get Norfolk a fairer deal when it comes to who should pick up the bill for concessionary bus fares has led to the county council clawing back £1.2m of a multi-million shortfall.

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The Norfolk County Council campaign succeeded in winning a government review of the formula used to allocate funds for the concessionary bus travel scheme.

More than 23,500 people signed the council’s Fair Fares campaign protesting about the unfairness of the county’s £4.5m shortfall in government funding for the scheme.

The shortfall was created because the government does not give the council enough money to fully cover the cost of reimbursing bus companies for travel by concessionary bus pass holders.

Now it has been revealed that the shortfall has been reduced by £1.2m after campaigners including the county council, Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis and Norfolk bus companies, won a review of the funding system from the government.

Graham Plant, cabinet member for planning and transportation, said: “Speaking up for Norfolk is a key role for the county council and our Fair Fares campaign certainly help make the government sit up and take notice.

“Any addition to our funds is welcome at a time when we are continuing to fight for a fair deal for our county to protect rural bus services.

“We will need to keep pressing for a fair deal for Norfolk. A concessionary pass is worthless if the bus service has been lost because the council can no longer afford the subsidy.”

The Fair Fares campaign - which was supported by 11 other shire counties including Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire - was named Regional Campaign of the Year at the East Anglia region of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) PRide awards last night.

Bert Bremner, Labour county councillor for University ward in Norwich, said he welcomed the reduction of the gap, but said more needed to be done.

He said: “Well done to Norfolk County Council winning an award for their Fair Fares campaign, which was fully supported by the Labour Team, and gained £1.2m back from the government.

“So they gained £1.2m and a good campaign prize but the people of Norfolk are being denied £3.3m. How are our Liberal Democrat and Conservative MPs going to explain that?”

7 comments

  • Thats great now i think more free passes should be handed out to the needy..

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    paf1

    Friday, October 12, 2012

  • Pensioners worried about heating their homes should use their bus passes to travel on the nice warm buses . Better than sitting in a cold house watching the telly . A good way of combating loneliness for those who live on their own .

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    dragonfly

    Friday, October 12, 2012

  • lets stop subsidising P&R and let car drivers pay the full costs of this service. To make out that subsidised travel for OAP's has to go first, when all other subsidies are up for the chop, merely helps to create the impression that car drivers are all right Jack, whilst buses are always at the whims of toady cllr.s

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, October 14, 2012

  • No argument for wealthy OAP's having bus passes omnishambles! They should be 'means tested' but not taken away completely. Reductions for people seeking work could be supplemented in this way.

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    Sandy.L

    Saturday, October 13, 2012

  • No argument for wealthy OAP's having bus passes omnishambles! They should be 'means tested' but not taken away completely. Reductions for people seeking work could be supplemented in this way.

    Report this comment

    Sandy.L

    Saturday, October 13, 2012

  • And what's the argument for allowing our wealthiest elderly keeping them, Christine? Shouldn't they be given to those prepared to seek out work instead?

    Report this comment

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Friday, October 12, 2012

  • Did anyone note David Cameron's mention of free bus passes at the Tory Party Conference? He said "I won't be cutting them - IN THIS PARLIAMENT". Hmmm....

    Report this comment

    Sandy.L

    Friday, October 12, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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