Tag Archives: Transport


Bob Ainsworth – Member of Parliament for Coventry North East – has criticised the Tory-led Government’s decision to withdraw the Coach Concessionary Travel Scheme, which could potentially cause a reduction in coach services in Coventry.

The Coach Concessionary Travel Scheme – which is different from the free bus pass scheme, but nonetheless very popular – provides half price coach travel for disabled people and those over 60 in England and Wales.

According to analysis undertaken by National Express, 52,700 passenger journeys which begin or end in Coventry are made using the half price concessionary fare.  52,700 is equivalent to 14% of all journeys which begin or end in Coventry.

Andrew Cleaves of National Express said:

“The scheme’s withdrawal could not only affect the ability of those currently eligible to travel, but also have a knock-on effect on the viability of some existing services which currently serve Coventry.  A reduction in existing service levels would, of course, affect many more passengers than those who directly benefit from the concessionary scheme”.

Bob said:

At a time when transport costs are rising, thanks to the government’s decision to allow eye-watering hikes in rail fares and increase VAT on fuel, the coach is a lifeline for many people and often the best value and most viable form of public transport available to them. The loss of a coach service can mean the loss of the opportunity to stay on in education or access employment, and can leave the elderly and vulnerable isolated. 

“The Government has clearly not considered the full impact of the withdrawal of the Coach Concessionary Travel Scheme and they urgently need to work with industry to mitigate the impact of their decision on the most vulnerable people in society”.

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A delegation from Coventry – which includes Bob Ainsworth, Jim Cunningham, Geoffrey Robinson and Councillor John Mutton – will meet with Theresa Villiers MP, Minister at the Department for Transport, on Wednesday 13th October at 10am to discuss the Coventry-Nuneaton Rail Upgrade Scheme.

The delegation will press the Minister to approve plans to fast-track the proposals for a new railway station at the Ricoh Arena and release Government funding to ensure it is built in time for Olympic football in 2012.

Bob said:

“This railway line is vital to the economy of the sub region, as well as the Arena. After much delay we had managed to get it recognised as a priority and I hope the minister will ensure that it goes ahead.”

16 August 2010

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