Photo: Nottingham Post
Disabled people in Nottingham are set to bear the brunt of local authority cuts as a loss in government funding will see their free transport on the city’s buses and trams cut.
Currently, Nottingham offer disabled people free, limitless travel all day everyday through their Robin Hood Mobility Card scheme, but as of 3 September, the City Council will no longer offer mobility card holders free travel on buses between 11pm and 9:30am on weekdays.
The council will continue to employ the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme, which is funded by central government but managed and administered by local transport authorities, who reimburse bus operators for the fares of disabled passengers.
With constant cutbacks consistently hitting already struggling disabled people hard, the latest move has angered Nottingham East MP Chris Leslie, who told the Nottingham Post: “This is such a shame as the unlimited free travel for people with disabilities or impaired mobility was a real feather in the cap for Nottingham’s positive approach to public transport.
“Given the reductions in national funding it’s not surprising that the city council have faced this choice but it relegates the least well-off with mobility difficulties to travelling outside the morning peak, which is a step backwards for equal opportunities.”
A council spokesperson told the paper: “For a number of years the city council has gone beyond the national scheme, offering Robin Hood Mobility Card holders free travel 24/7. Unfortunately a reduction in government funding has made it necessary to review the offer, and from 3 September the concessionary mobility scheme will be delivered in line with the rest of the country.
“This means cardholders and their companions will still be able to travel for free in Nottingham and nationally between 9.30am and 11pm Monday to Friday, and all day at weekends. In addition, tram travel between 9.30am and 11pm will remain free for Nottingham card holders.”