D-Day looms for bus fares

IPSWICH pensioners should find out next week how much they will have to pay to use the town's buses from April.The future of the town's concessionary bus fare scheme is to be discussed by members of the borough's executive on Tuesday.

IPSWICH pensioners should find out next week how much they will have to pay to use the town's buses from April.

The future of the town's concessionary bus fare scheme is to be discussed by members of the borough's executive on Tuesday.

Four options are expected to be under discussion – all of which involve different levels of council tax payer support.

At present holders of senior citizen bus passes have to pay a flat rate fee of 40p for single journeys in the town.

The four options on the table at next Tuesday's meeting are to keep fares at 40p, to increase them to 45p, 50p, or to scrap the borough's own concessionary scheme and transfer passes to the countywide scheme, which offers elderly people half fares.

At present this would mean they would have to pay 60p for most single journeys in the town.

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Moving from a 40p concessionary fare rate to the half fare would save Band D council taxpayers in Ipswich £5 a year – with proportionate rises for homes in other tax bands.

The other options would save council taxpayers less.

There is no recommendation to the executive of which alternative to choose – but The Evening Star understands that bus company bosses are not expecting the concessionary fare scheme to be scrapped altogether.

However even a 10p increase to 50p would represent a 25 per cent rise – and would be likely to provoke anger from pensioners.

What do you think of concessionary fares? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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