People in East Sussex using concessionary bus passes have been given some good news – the 9am start will continue when the county council takes over the scheme in April.
The decision was made by councillors at a Cabinet meeting, following a consultation with the public.
Currently, the concessionary bus fares scheme is run by district and borough councils and the grant funding from Government pays only for travel between 9.30am to 11pm.
At the moment districts and boroughs allow people who have a pass to travel from 9am, with this extra half an hour funded locally.
East Sussex County Council takes over responsibility from district and borough councils for this scheme on April 1.
Councillor Matthew Lock, Lead Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, said: “Because of the significant financial challenges we face, and uncertainty about Government funding, we were forced to consider withdrawing the discretionary 9am start to the scheme.
“However, Government has also given local councils the powers to make their own decisions about what is right for the people in their area.
“We know this is something people feel really passionate about, and that’s why we have made the decision today to keep the 9am start.
“That means people can travel free between 9am and 11pm on weekdays, and all day at weekends and bank holidays.
“We will also continue to issue companion passes to people with disabilities who would otherwise be unable to use public transport.
“This allows free travel for one extra person accompanying them.
“And we are making it even easier for people to apply for a new pass.
“From 1 April, you can apply at any East Sussex library, or your local district and borough office as you do now.
“Retaining the 9am start will encourage people to use the bus and leave their car at home.”