PLANS are being drawn to up to review the restrictions currently imposed on the way older and disabled people travel on buses around Gloucestershire.

Following a meeting at the end of last month, members of Gloucestershire County Council voted unanimously in favour of looking at removing the 9.30am start time for bus pass holders.

Currently elderly people, or those living with a physical or learning disability, have to wait until after 9.30am before being able to travel on buses for free.

This rule was introduced by central government, which sets the budget for concessionary travel, in 2006.

Members agreed to look at ways of reviewing the rule after learning of the difficulties many older people faced when travelling to early morning medical appointments.

Cllr Will Windsor Clive, cabinet member responsible for bus fares, said that, while the council was happy to look at a review, members must understand that changing the 9.30am start time would have direct cost implications.

The county council already has to find £1,000,000 every year to subsidise concessionary bus travel as the money put forward from the government does not cover the actual cost.

Lesley Williams, leader of the Labour party on GCC, said: “The 9.30am rule does cause older people and people with disabilities considerable inconvenience. I am delighted we are now going to look at this issue and explore ways to improve the present situation.”

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