PENSIONERS are preparing to step up their campaign to keep free bus passes.
Portsmouth Pensioners’ Association is holding a day of action on Monday, October 1.
At 1.30pm the group will hold its open meeting at the Guildhall in Portsmouth, and will hear a speech by Richard Worrall, a bus pass traveller and campaigner.
Then at 3.30pm a demonstration is being held in Guildhall Square to support keeping the bus pass.
October 1 has been chosen as it is the International Day of Older People.
Association secretary June Clarkson said: ‘The free bus pass enables pensioners to play a full part in their community – and to socialise and to visit the family.
‘It also allows them to go shopping and to have a cup of tea with friends.
‘More importantly, it allows them to visit their GP and to attend hospital appointments without cutting into their meagre budgets.’
There is an epetition to save the pass at epetitions.direct.gov.uk which can be found by searching for ‘bus pass’.
Mrs Clarkson added: ‘Many pensioners work for charities and churches – all this would have to be given up if bus fares had to be paid.
‘Isolation means loneliness and depression. Until the basic state pension is increased to a realistic level, the bus pass is vital.’
On August 13 members of the association met pensioners from Birmingham at The Hard.