Rachel Carter would be lost without her bus pass. Because she can no longer drive a car Rachel sees the bus as a lifeline – enabling her to get to work and to travel around independently.
Rachel was the first person in North Yorkshire to be handed a bus pass after the system for operating concessionary fares became the responsibility of North Yorkshire County Council on April 1.
Now Rachel, who lives in Green Hammerton with her 11-year-old daughter Eve Victoria, says she would be forced to move back to the city without it.
She said: “I have been diagnosed with progressive glaucoma and have had to give up my car recently. The bus pass means I can still afford to get to work and get around as independently as possible. It means I don’t have to move home, which I would hate as I love living in Green Hammerton.”
Before April the concessionary fares system was operated by district and borough councils. But North Yorkshire County Council took over responsibility for the scheme on April 1.
People with existing valid bus passes – which provide free travel for older people at most times of the day – will not be affected by the changeover unless – if their pass is due to be renewed they will be contacted by our card issuing company.
People applying for the first time for a pass will now be able to do so at a wider choice of venues, including in many cases their local library.
As well as assuming responsibility for operating the scheme, the county council has decided to standardise the system across North Yorkshire. From April 1, the passes will be valid for bus journeys between the hours of 0900 and 0600 on weekdays, and at any time at weekends and bank holidays. This change will only affect bus pass holders in Craven, who until now have been able to travel at any time of the day, including the peak period between 0600 and 0900.
People can apply for passes at the following locations:
Craven: Skipton Town Hall and Settle Town Hall
Hambleton: Civic Centre, Northallerton; Stokesley Area Office, Town Close; County Hall, Northallerton
Richmondshire: Richmond Community Office, Zetland Square, Richmond; Catterick Library
Ryedale: Ryedale House, Malton; Pickering Library
Scarborough: Customer First Centre, St Nicholas Street; Scarborough; Eastfield Community Resource Centre; Northern Area Office, Skinner Street, Whitby; Southern Area Office, John Street, Filey
Selby: Access Selby Office, 8-10 Market Cross, Selby; Sherburn-in-Elmet Library; Tadcaster Library