Proposals to cut bus subsidies for blind people dropped

PUBLISHED: 14:47 11 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:48 11 October 2018

Michael Wordingham and his dog Mac with Lynn Hester and Saffron outside Shire Hall earlier. Picture: JOSH THOMAS

Michael Wordingham and his dog Mac with Lynn Hester and Saffron outside Shire Hall earlier. Picture: JOSH THOMAS


Campaigners and residents with sight problems have hailed a victory as councillors voted to throw out proposals to cut back on “non-statutory” concessionary bus fares, including free travel for blind and partially sighted concessionary bus pass holders before 9.30am on weekdays.

According to a report which went before the council’s highways and community infrastructure committee on Tuesday (October 9), removing these concessions could held the council save cash to make sure they can cope with providing other services.

Today (October 11), councillors on Cambridgeshire County Council’s economy and environment committee voted to drop the proposals.

Councillor Lynda Harford spoke out against the proposals, saying they were a “red line” she was not willing to cross.

Councillors had previously heard fears the removal of concessions would be a further barrier to people getting into towns and accessing work, with Cllr Ian Gardener even voicing concerns people could be made “prisoners in their own homes”.

Lynne Hester and her guide dog Saffron were at the committee. She said blind and visually impaired people were “low hanging fruit” for the council’s budget, but they “refused to be squashed”.

Speaking after the meeting, Lynne said: “I wanted to come here today to make sure it did not go through without them having to face a visually impaired person.”

Michael Wordingham and his guide dog Mac were also at the meeting. Michael said it was difficult enough for visually impaired people to access towns and cities for work.

He said having free bus use was important not only for economic reasons, but was also important socially, helping people get out and about, combatting loneliness.

Councillors also voted to reject proposals to cut other concessions like

• 15p per mile subsidy to users of community car schemes

• 50 per cent subsidy on dial-a-ride services for concessionary bus pass holders

• Free travel for blind and partially sighted concessionary bus pass holders before 9.30 on weekdays

• Subsidised taxi journeys in parts of South Cambridgeshire


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ely Standard visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ely Standard staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ely Standard account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

Yesterday, 13:48

A police chief says putting poppies on some of their cars into the run-up to Remembrance Day “is not a glorification of war”.

Yesterday, 10:05

Three people were treated for ‘minor injuries’ last night after a lorry rolled on top of a car on the A141 Isle of Ely Way between March and Chatteris.

The Medlock Ensemble gave a splendid concert in aid of Camtrust at All Saint’s Church in Cottenham on Sunday October 7.

Yesterday, 16:55

A Wilburton man accused of sexually assaulting three schoolgirls has dismissed the allegations as “pure madness and fantasy”.

Most read stories

Digital Edition

Read the Ely Standard e-edition E-edition

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Ely Standard weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy