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6 Sept 2011

Completely free disabled travel returns to Reading!

I wrote a post in March about the awful treatment of Readings disabled bus users who were notified they would no longer get free travel before 9.30 on the day the change came into force.  Naturally people were outraged, including many Battle residents I spoke to.

This time I am writing a happier post as around 5000 letters go out to disabled bus users and their travel companions to confirm free travel, in Reading, before 9.30 will be reinstated from September 19. 

Here is the councils press release:

'Free Bus Travel Reinstated for Disabled and Carers

Reading Borough Council Press Release

Free unrestricted bus travel for disabled residents and their carers will be fully reinstated later this month.

Over the next few days Reading Borough Council will be writing to the estimated 5,000 disabled residents and carers in the borough to confirm that from Monday September 19 Access Passes and Companion Passes will once again become valid for free bus travel in Reading at anytime of the day or night, seven days a week.

Reading's generous concessionary scheme had been scrapped from April 1st this year, but was reinstated following a change in Administration at Reading Borough Council in May.

Tony Page, Reading's Lead Councillor for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: 'This delivers on an early commitment from the new Administration and re-instates the cut which was a part of the budget we inherited. It will be welcome news to the many disabled who are obliged for reasons such as doctors and hospital appointments to travel before 9.30am.'

Disabled residents and carers are asked to note that free bus travel at anytime will apply only to boarding buses within Reading Borough. Free travel upon boarding buses outside Reading Borough will remain available off peak only – that is 09.30 to 22.59 Monday - Friday and anytime on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays - and is subject to the rules of the National Concessionary Travel Scheme. In some other council areas Companion Passes – which are used by carers to accompany disabled residents - are not accepted at all.

Letters being sent to residents this week will include the new passes which will become operational on Monday September 19. As of that date old passes will no longer work.

Disabled residents and their carers who have any questions or require further information can phone Stephen Wise at Reading Borough Council on 0118 9373948 or stephen.wise@reading.gov.uk'

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