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24/7 free bus travel to be offered to all disabled bus pass holders in the county, Norfolk County Council announces

Thousands of disabled residents will become eligible for free bus travel 24/7 thanks to a decision taken by Norfolk County Council.

The authority has announced it will grant residents who hold a disabled concessionary travel pass, as well as their eligible companions, free bus travel within the county 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Some 14,500 people will benefit from the plan, which is to come into effect on February 1.

Some 14,500 people will benefit from the plan. Picture: iStock
Some 14,500 people will benefit from the plan. Picture: iStock

Graham Plant, cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said that the plan “ensures they have access to work, education and leisure and helps to combat the risks of social isolation which can be associated with having a disability”.

He added: “In addition, encouraging more use of public transport leads to a greener future and helps towards our ambitious net-zero targets.”

Previously, those with a concessionary pass could only travel for free on buses during off-peak times (all day on Saturdays and Sundays and from 9.30am Monday to Friday) except for those who were blind or visually impaired.

Offering free travel at all times is over and above the minimum requirement set by the government, and is something that a local authority can choose to do but doesn’t have to do.

Costing the council £50,000 from its ring-fenced public transport budget, provided by the Department for Transport, the change was recommended after an updated equality impact assessment found that it was unfair to offer the benefit to just one group of disabled people.

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