Dunne presses for clarity on concessionary fares scheme

North Down DUP MLA Stephen Dunne has pressed the Infrastructure Minister on the future of concessionary fares for public transport in Northern Ireland. Mr Dunne is a member of the Infrastructure Committee and speaking after raising it with the Minister in the Assembly he said,

By Stephen Dunne MLA

North Down

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“‘The consultation on changes to the Concessionary Fares Scheme finished on 24th August 2023. Despite more than six months passing since this date, residents who are over sixty years of age and those who are living with a disability are no clearer as to whether their current fare concessions will remain.

During this consultation period, my party was very clear in its opposition to potential cuts. It is unacceptable for free and discounted travel to be viewed as a soft target for short-term and short-sighted budget cuts. Removing the cost of accessing public transport means more people use bus and rail services, reducing our reliance on cars and protecting the environment. It also enables older people, and those with disabilities, to commute to work, attend GP and hospital appointments, visit family or friends or simply do the shopping.

I welcomed the response from the Minister whereby he indicated his intention to maintain the scheme in its current form. However, this intention must be followed by decisive action and I will continue to press for additional clarity on this issue in the coming days and weeks.”

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