A free bus pass can help older and retired people get out and about without concern as to costs. But as the rules on entitlement to a free bus pass vary according to where a person lives in the country, there is arguably a certain level of disparity. As a result, a petition is now calling upon the Government to take action on the matter and readdress the free bus pass issue.
This is an older rule from when state pension age parity was not yet achieved, but still remains in place.
Currently, the state pension age for both men and women has reached 66, after a momentous change occurred in October 2020.
However, this will not be the end of state pension age changes in the future, and the Government is set to uprate the age in due course.
In the coming years, Britons can expect the state pension age to rise to 67, and eventually to 68.
This is due to the rising life expectancy in the UK which will mean increasing numbers of people will be spending more time in old age.
But while this will have an impact on the state pension sum, if rules remain the same, it will undoubtedly impact free bus pass entitlement too.
The petition does currently have a certain degree of support, however, will only trigger a Government response once it reaches 10,000 signatures.
Indeed, at 100,000 signatures, the petition is then considered for debate in Parliament – often viewed as the next stage of getting a request heard.
This was demonstrated earlier in the week when a petition on extending the Stamp Duty Holiday was debated virtually by members of Parliament.
Rules on the free bus pass entitlement, however, differ for those who are living in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
These Britons will usually be able to receive their free bus pass from the age of 60.
People in London, as the petition identifies, can also gain a free bus pass from the age of 60 – in what is known as a Freedom Pass.
This applies to travel on buses, tubes and trams, but only in the vicinity of the capital.
For those who wish to apply for a free bus pass, there are certain steps which are important to take.
Visiting the Government’s website, Britons are encouraged to enter their postcode, which will then redirect them to the website of their local council.
Here, they will be able to determine when they will be able to receive their free bus pass, and find out details on how to obtain one.