1. ITV Report

Protest over free bus travel restrictions for elderly & disabled

Protest over concessionary bus travel in Stoke-on-Trent Photo: PA

A campaign group are lobbying Stoke-on-Trent City council to bring back free bus travel for the elderly and disabled before 9:30am and after 11:00pm.

Sixty people are expected to take part in a protest at a bus stop in the Hanley area of the city before boarding buses headed for the Civic Centre.

The protesters will then meet council members to give them a statement highlighting why they think free travel early in the morning and late at night should be reintroduced.

The council decided in February to end free fares in the rush hour and after 11:00pm as part of a drive to cut the local authority's budget because of cuts from central government.

It's thought the move could save the council around £100,000 a year.

Charities for the visually impaired have criticised the cost cutting measure, saying it's hitting vulnerable people who rely on free early morning travel.

But the council have defended the decision saying its subsidy for public transport is now in line with the national concessionary pass which also starts at 9:30am.

The protest group will hand in a statement to council representatives, which has been signed by 21 community groups from across North Staffordshire.

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