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Timetable change will stop free bus pass users
11:10am Tuesday 31st January 2012 in Droitwich News
A CHANGE of just four minutes to a Droitwich bus timetable will leave town pensioners unable to use the early morning service for free.
Plans have been announced to change the first pick up time for the number 18 bus at Charlverton Court, in the Chawson area of town, from 9.30am to 9.26am.
The change, which will come into effect from February 19, has angered many elderly residents who believe the move has been done to deliberately stop them using the early morning service to the town centre.
It means that Charlverton Court residents will need to wait until 10.26am to use their free passes or pay £1.50 to use the 9.26am bus, which is run by Worcestershire County Council.
Resident John Cook, who regularly uses the service, said: “This is ridiculous and i’m disgusted with the change. It has been done simply to stop elderly people using their free bus passes until later in the day.
“It means that people will now need to either pay or face having to wait an hour. This will hit people who have early doctors appointments and need to get to the town centre earlier than 10.30am.
“Changing it by just four minutes is sneaky and is unfair on the town’s elderly people. I will be taking the issue up with councillors and the MP to see what can be done. This is unacceptable and very disappointing.”
A Worcestershire County Council spokesman said: "The minor changes to the service 18 timetable have been made following feedback from passengers about the new Droitwich services in order to reduce the occasions when passengers need to wait for a delayed bus due to traffic congestion.
"We do appreciate that from February 19 passengers at certain stops will board the service before the national concessionary start time for free travel of 9.30am on weekdays. As there's another service within an hour where passes can be used, unfortunately, we're not able to make exceptions in this case. However, we always welcome comments and review services at regular intervals."