County council's 'administrative error' causes concern amongst Essex bus users

PUBLISHED: 09:39 20 July 2010

A TYPING error gave bus users a fright this week after a consultation document indicated that they would only have two-and-a-half hours to use free services on weekdays.

A TYPING error gave bus users a fright this week after a consultation document indicated that they would only have two-and-a-half hours to use free services on weekdays.

From April 2011 Essex County Council (ECC) takes over responsibility for free bus travel offered to people that are over the female age of retirement, currently 60.

However, in a consultation letter sent out to parish councils, ECC said a minimum service of 9.30am to 11.30am could be a possibility.

Spotting the error at a meeting last week, Dunmow town councillor Gwynn Davies said: “I hope it is incorrect otherwise users could be going to Bishop Stortford and then getting stuck there, it wouldn’t be enough time to get back.”

ECC spokesman Michael Page admitted the council had made a mistake and called it an “administrative error”. He added: “It should read 09.30 and 23.00. So it would still be all day and not just for an hour and a half.”

The consultation on free bus passes is aimed at seeing how much people value certain elements, such as when they can use it, where, and how useful it is.

ECC passenger transport strategy manager, Richard Gravatt, said: “To allow the county to get the correct structures in place ECC needs to understand how much people value the various elements of their pass and alternative concessions. We plan to do this using questionnaires online and in hard copy form.”

The consultation runs until September 30. Questionnaires can be obtained by calling 08457 430 430 or are available in libraries across the county. Alternatively, go online at essex.gov.uk/buspass

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