New charge for concessionary passes to take effect from 1 February
Date published: 20 December 2019
The Metrolink at Rochdale Railway Station
From next year, people with concessionary bus passes across Greater Manchester will have to pay £10 to continue getting free tram and train travel.
From 1 February 2020, people will need to pay the fee once a year to add other modes of transport to their pension-age or women’s concessionary pass.
Currently, the passes allow free off-peak travel for buses across England and for trams and trains across Greater Manchester.
There will be no change to free, off-peak bus travel and, if you only use buses, you can choose not to pay to add tram and train.
The new plans were announced in August 2019 by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, to make all its concessionary travel schemes ‘more consistent’.
But one resident slammed the plans and described the announcement as a “pre-Christmas blow for pensioners”.
Ross Foss, who lives in Spinningfields, said TfGM’s decision will further isolate elderly residents.
He said: “TfGM haven’t given much notice. The scheme starts on February 1, but seems to have been implemented without any consultation with either pass-users or age-friendly groups and organisations – not even Manchester council’s own Age-Friendly Board.
“This new charge will only add to the social isolation felt by older people, especially those with mobility issues, who are unable to get about a city where the public transport infrastructure is poor, especially in the city’s badly served suburbs.”
TfGM explained the scheme starts on 1 February, but residents will be able to pay early from 5 January 2020.
If you pay early, you will be covered for one year from 1 February 2020. After 1 February, you’ll be covered for a full year from the date you pay.
You can pay:
- in person at a TfGM Travelshop
- in person at a PayPoint shop (available from January 25 2020)
- online at getmethere.com
To buy online, you will need to link your concessionary pass to a Get Me There account; you can find more details and a step-by-step guide at getmethere.com/add-a-card
Once you have paid online, you will need to touch-in with your concessionary pass at a Metrolink smart reader within 14 days, at any tram stop, and your pass will be updated to show you have paid to add tram and train.
If you need your pass for travelling by train, and won’t be able to visit a Metrolink stop first, travel bosses have suggested it’s best you buy from a PayPoint or a TfGM Travelshop.
More information is available at: tfgm.com/add-tram-and-train
Alice Richardson, Local Democracy Reporter
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