Bus consultation excluded leading user-groups


While congratulating The Star on today’s excellent front page article (‘OAPs battle to save travel passes’, April 23) it misses one or two significant points.

Firstly, the links being forged with transport trade unions, who also see the removal of concessionary travel from trains as ultimately a concern for their members, secondly the evidence that the push for an increasingly aggressive response is coming from political rather than commercial quarters.

Finally, there is the issue of consultation.

National guidelines on this matter include a requirement that any changes to arrangements regarding concessionary travel should be done only after extensive consultation with users of the scheme.

While this seems to have been the case in other areas, including West Midlands (where the concessionary scheme was retained in full) it seems SYPTE saw a chance to cut some red tape.

In short it seems that the consultation was carried out in such a way as to effectively exclude the leading user-groups of elderly and disabled whilst including individuals who could be relied on to provide a positive response and nursing home residents, who are unlikely to use public transport.

Sheffield members of SYPTE (the body responsible for the decision) including Leigh Bramall, Bob Johnson, Bryan Lodge, Tim Rippon and Ian Aukland should now spend time preparing answers to questions on why they, representing Sheffield, were happy to let such a farce masquerading as consultation be rubber-stamped by them.

If they have lost sight of the fact that they were elected to bring services to their voters, not take them away, there was never a better time than now to remind them.

John Baker

Columbia Place, Sheffield S2