DCSIMG

Sheffield woman’s travel pass blow

Sally Mason, who will lose ten per cent of her annual income on bus fares after cuts were made to travel passes for elderly and disabled people

Sally Mason, who will lose ten per cent of her annual income on bus fares after cuts were made to travel passes for elderly and disabled people

A post room messenger with learning disabilities will lose a significant chunk of her annual income due to new travel pass restrictions.

Sally Mason, aged 37, has worked for 15 years and has always used her disabled bus pass to get to and from work.

But new rules mean she can no longer use her bus pass before 9.30am to get to work for 8am.

Instead she will have to spend around10 per cent of her annual income to make the journey.

Her father, Gordon Mason, of Greenhill, said: “Despite her disability, Sally works for her living and has done so since 1999.

“She is low paid but her work is very important to her and she is well-respected in her workplace.”

Sally, who also has speech problems and elements of Asperger’s Syndrome, lives near Abbeydale Road.

She catches a bus to the city centre each morning and second bus to her workplace near Ecclesall Road.

She earns about £7,000 a year – meaning the annual cost of bus fares wipes out more than a month of her salary straightaway.

Gordon, 64, said: “I think the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive hasn’t thought this through.

“I’m not unsympathetic to their position – they have budget cuts and had to do something – but I think the mindset is that elderly and disabled people don’t work.

“For over 60s who use a bus pass, the fact they can’t use it now before 9.30am is a mild inconvenience. Some disabled people who work need to get in before 9.30am.

“I think disabled people generally are at the low-paid end of the spectrum and this is hitting them hard.”

He is urging SYPTE to introduce a special pass which enables employed disabled people to travel free before 9.30am.

David Young of the SYPTE said: “We share the disappointment that reduced government funding is forcing such undesirable changes in South Yorkshire, as we know how much free local travel enhancements have been valued by people. We are sorry for the impact being felt.”

 

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