Anger over decision on Norfolk bus passes

County councillors have been accused of letting down some of Norfolk's most vulnerable people after they decided not to spend �30,000 so blind people with bus passes could get free travel on the county's buses before 9.30am.

Norfolk County Council took over responsibility in April for the administration of concessionary bus travel, but the authority, facing a gap of �4.5m between what the government gives it to reimburse bus operators and the actual cost of the scheme, cut the hours bus pass holders can get free travel.

That took away a discretionary hour from 8.30am and 9.30am.

Blind people argued that placed them at a disadvantage and, last month, the council's cabinet scrutiny committee agreed the controlling cabinet should consider restoring that hour for the blind.

However, at today's cabinet meeting, members decided not to do so. John Child, director of Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind, said: 'This decision is very disappointing for registered blind people who want to live as independently as possible.

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'This was an opportunity to show that not all decisions have to be cold and calculated. Councillors have let down one of the most vulnerable groups in our community.'

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