Isle of Wight Council is advising local residents of forthcoming changes to concessionary travel on Island Line rail services.
Following a wide review of non-statutory concessionary travel by IW Council from 1 May 2011, anyone who is Isle of Wight resident and eligible through disability, or suffers severe or enduring mental health problems or requires access to public transport with the help of a companion, will continue to receive free concessionary travel on Island Line rail services as well as free bus travel.
However people who are currently eligible for travel concessions only on the basis of age will no longer be eligible for free concessionary travel on Island Line but will continue to qualify for free off-peak bus travel.
The changes follow a wide review of funding for passenger transport by the IW Council, which also resulted in the recent new contract with Southern Vectis that will increase services for residents, including securing the future of many rural bus routes.
Cllr Edward Giles, IW Council Cabinet member responsible for transport said “Although there is no statutory requirement for the council to do so, both ourselves and Island Line are committed to continue providing concessionary travel on Island Line for local residents with disability or who suffer severe and enduring mental health problems and for travelling companions for those who could not otherwise access public transport. Together we have reached an agreement that secures concessionary travel for a significant number of vulnerable people.
“This is an extension to the concessionary bus fares scheme to allow more people access to subsidised travel on the Isle of Wight, whereas other areas in the UK only provide the minimum statutory requirements. While we are delighted to continue this arrangement, both parties were however unable to strike a deal to continue providing the discretionary travel for over 60s.”
“We have agreed with Island Line to bring in the changes from 1 May to give residents sufficient notice.”