Bus pass confusion
People with bus passes living in Thetford are still going to be able to get free travel to Norwich - but they may have to start paying to get home. Under a national scheme the over 60s and eligible people with disabilities get free local bus travel across the UK.
People with bus passes living in Thetford are still going to be able to get free travel to Norwich - but they may have to start paying to get home.
Under a national scheme the over 60s and eligible people with disabilities get free local bus travel across the UK.
However, changes to the scheme made earlier this year meant the route between Thetford and Norwich was no longer automatically eligible for free bus travel.
Now, because it is the only bus route between the two places, Breckland Council's cabinet has decided to fund it anyway.
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But this will only cover the cost of the National Express-run journey from Thetford.
Those wanting to get back home or go the other way will have to wait until Norwich City Council, which is responsible for funding journeys out of the city, decides if it wants to pay for that route.
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“Our government funding is insufficient to cover these costs, meaning the council has to look for savings in concessionary travel and other services,” a spokeswoman for the city council said.
“This is a discretionary route so as a result it is unfortunately one of the routes we must look at.”
The overall scheme looks set to cost the city council �3.4m this year and �4m the year after, she said.
So the council was waiting to see how much it was likely to cost to fund the Norwich to Thetford journey before making a decision.
There is no statutory obligation for either authority to fund the journey.
But in the past there has been an agreement between the county council, city council and National Express that the route is treated as a local route on which the concessionary bus passes can be used, the spokesman said.