When the Liberal Democrats were running Luton Council they were planning an enhancement of the bus pass scheme to reintroduce the 50p fares to Hitchin, St. Albans and other nearby towns. Labour took over at the Town Hall in May and they have now delayed the decision until at least 15th October.
“We postponed the final decision until we could look at the figures at the end of the financial year”, says Liberal Democrat leader David Franks.
“We expected to be able to make the announcement by the Summer. Although we thought there was probably enough money in the kitty, we needed to be sure. Labour now has the confirmed surplus from last year of more than £5 Million. They have known the financial position for weeks now and the money is there so why are they putting it off?”
“I am sure the bus companies would welcome a return of the 50p fare scheme. There is a statutory formula for calculating how much the bus companies can claim to pay for it so why the hold up?”
“Surely they are not waiting for the government’s new ‘National’ scheme. Only the barest outlines of that have so far been revealed and when the details will emerge is anybody’s guess. It’s an absolute certainty we will not have the full details by 15th October so are they already planning another delay? Meanwhile pensioners and other bus pass holders who want to go St. Albans or Hitchin on market day have to pay the full fare.”