All funding could be cut from West Midlands ring and ride

Ring and ride services for elderly and disabled people in the West Midlands face being stripped of all their funding under sweeping cuts to public transport.

ring and ride

Centro, which subsidises public transport on behalf of councils, has now launched a consultation on its £14.6 million of proposed cuts.

They include stripping free tram and train travel from pensioners and increasing child fares on the buses.

Further details emerged during a meeting of councillors who approved launching the consultation, but stressed no decisions had been made.

Public transport users will be asked whether they would be prepared for free tram and train travel to be removed from pensioners altogether or whether they would support an annual charge for the passes of around £30 or discounted fares.

Should pensioners in the West Midlands pay for train and tram travel? Vote in our poll below and have your say in the comments section:

They will also get to say whether they would accept the scrapping of children’s half bus fares altogether, increasing what they pay to two-thirds, or introducing a fixed contribution per journey of 30p, 40p or 50p.

Ring and ride services, provided by the charity West Midlands Special Needs Transport, currently cost taxpayers £10.5m per year.

Passengers pay 60p per journey following a previous round of cuts that ended years of it being a free service.

Centro is proposing to either remove 25 per cent of its grant, 50 per cent or even hand responsibility over to councils.

This would mean it would be up to individual local authorities to decide whether to use the service for its elderly and disabled people, creating a postcode lottery in terms of the level of service.

Pensioners’ rights to free off-peak bus travel are protected by law Consultation sessions are being held from 9am to 3pm on the following dates: Saturday, December 7, at Sloane Street Square, Dudley; Wednesday, December 18, at West Bromwich Bus Station; Saturday, January 11, in Queen Square, Wolverhampton; and Saturday, January 18, in Park Street, Walsall.

Details can also be found at www.centro.org.uk/budgetconsultation

Comments for: "All funding could be cut from West Midlands ring and ride"

benji

Will it ever end? After a lifetime of paying tax here is another attack on the pensioners.

Boinggobaggies

Ring and Ride should be the first to go £10.5m for a service that appears to not be run efficiently is outrageous. My grandmother tried on numerous occasions to book a seat on this bus but was always told that the service was full and she should ring again the following morning if it was practical to wait a further day. Then when you go out and see these 16 seat mini buses going round with two or three people on them.

A lady in my street now uses this service and on the odd occasion when she can get them to pick her up she states there is often just her and one other on the bus. You cannot run a £10.5m public funded service like this. It's effectively a government funded taxi service when we already have buses, Trains and Trams that are funded by the government and available to everyone. If you want a door to door taxi service you should book one and pay for it yourself.

jeffrey.borra

lets cut the outrageous expenses paid to mp's. so we can fund such vital services, they can afford to loose a few thousand each and with 650+ in the house of commons it would soon add up.

Boinggobaggies

The only thing that is vital about ring and ride is the fact its vitally inefficient. There are taxi firms in every town so if people want a door to door service they can pay for it for the rest of us there are buses trains and trams. Stop this pitifully waste now and keep the services for the masses.

I too

Get rid of Taxi Ring and Ride for one.

Keep free metro and train rides for vulnerable.

Stop Metro extension it is not needed.

Get rid of council donation to Centro of £50000 per year for the free town centre buses. The justification ( according to Mr Bateman ) for free buses was for getting people to the Wolves market for people from Wednesfield!

There is no market so cut cut cut the £50000 donation now and stop those free empty buses. Let them walk and exercise.

Save the Central Baths NOW for ALL and close the Bentley Bridge disaster.

Why wasn't Heath Town baths redeveloped instead? Waste of course

bitsie

Those people who are disabled get disability and mobility benefits and can easily afford travel costs, most working people don't get as much as those on disability benefits , but sometimes the more you give with good intentions is the more people expect

LESTER

Ring and Ride is a door to door service used by people who have mobility problems that make it difficult for them to use other forms of public transport. Without this service many of those people currently using it will be unable to go out. Maybe if our lords and masters didn't constantly have their snouts in the trough, what with their gold-plated inflation linked pensions, their expenses, their golden hand-shakes etc. etc. there might be a little more public money available to help the elderly and less fortunate.

Boinggobaggies

I'm in complete agreement that people who have mobility problems use this service but then they receive mobility benefit so can quite easily pay for a private hire taxi. The solution is simple scrap the Ring and Ride and save £10m or stop everyone's mobility benefit and recoup the money that way.

I would love a government funded taxi service to fetch and carry me on demand but is that ever going to happen ?

Eh No !