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Five days to save affordable travel for older Londoners

Published on 26 October 2020 04:03 PM

Age UK London and other London charities working with older Londoners have released a statement warning that there is less than a week to save affordable travel for older Londoners.

An announcement on older Londoners’ travel concessions is expected before the current funding deal between Transport for London and the Government expires on 31st October. Age UK London are deeply concerned by reports of additional cuts facing 60+ Oyster card and Freedom Pass holders.

The pandemic has already hit older Londoners’ finances hard. The number of over-50s needing out-of-work support such as Universal Credit has doubled in just seven months and only one in three older workers made redundant find a new job within three months.

The charity has heard directly from older Londoners that the current suspension of concessionary travel before 9am on weekdays (introduced on 15th June as a ‘temporary’ measure) has had a devastating impact on older people who had to travel at that time for work, including those on the pandemic front line.

Age UK London’s Chief Executive, Abigail Wood, said:

“Last week, we wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport to ask him to recognise that the 60+ Oyster card and Freedom Pass are a lifeline for many older Londoners.”

Affordable travel transforms lives and these concessions must be protected in the new funding deal between the Government and Transport for London. They help enable the enormous contribution older Londoners make as key workers, carers, volunteers and community leaders.”

“London already has the highest rate of ‘pensioner poverty’ in the UK and taking away travel concessions will leave older Londoners struggling to make ends meet and exacerbate the capital’s social isolation crisis.”