Monday, 13 July 2009

Half Price Fares for unemployed are not working

Boris Johnson's half price fares scheme is failing to get through to the vast majority of unemployed Londoners, new figures have revealed.

Overall, only 20 per cent of those eligible for the scheme have taken it up so far.

More detailed figures show that in some of the poorest parts of the capital, less than one in ten of those eligible have been granted a card.

In the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Havering there was a less than 9 per cent take up by the end of May.

A new London Assembly report blames the complexity of the concessionary scheme.

Currently, only those unemployed for between 13 and 26 weeks are eligible for a half-price bus and tram pass.

Take up of other concessionary schemes such as the government's New Deal card, may also make them ineligible for the cards.

Liberal Democrat Assembly Member Mike Tuffrey who originally proposed the half-price scheme said:

“It is time to make a real success of the policy and ensure far more unemployed Londoners benefit from this important concession. More publicity and promotion of this important concession is now needed.

“This coming Wednesday will almost certainly see a further steep rise in unemployment, probably in every London borough. There has never been a more important time to provide a helping hand to people on low incomes who are searching for work.”

Deputy Chair of TfL Daniel Moylan told the Assembly last month that there was "no immediate plan" to change the fares structure

The London Assembly have urged the Mayor to "radically simplify" the various concessionary schemes available.


Anonymous said...

Like of most of Boris's ideas, it sounds very good but he has no idea how to implement it. I have seen no advertising for this scheme and I spent 10 minutes failing to find information for it on the Mayor's website.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Back in Nottingham the scheme was quite simple, if you were on JSA or IS you got free travel on all buses.

That should increase uptake and help those in need.

AdamB said...

Thanks Daniel. Do you know whether the scheme is still active?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

No, seems not, unemployed pay 65p instead of £1.10 with a valid pass.

This seems to work out as the same discount as for students which seems unfair to me, unemployed have far less disposable income and although you can claim travel expenses for job seeking only within limits and also, you need the capital in the first place.

Helen said...

Plus, you have to shell out for passport photos.

saifu03 said...

Why are we pretending that a lower uptake was not designed for? This is the ideal policy:
less costly, but looks helpful and can be quoted when necessary.
Also, wecan use our prejudices and say that the feckless unemployed are too lazy to do it themselves, absolutely ideal.

Tom said...

"Like of most of Boris's ideas, it sounds very good but he has no idea how to implement it"

...and it's not really his idea.