Stoke & Staffordshire

Stoke council cuts rush hour bus passes for disabled

Free bus passes for disabled people to use before 09:30 in Stoke-on-Trent are to be scrapped.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has decided to abolish the concessionary pass in order to save money.

Rebecca Swift, from the RNIB, said: "To take this concession away is extremely unfair, it acts as an extra barrier to accessing services."

The council said it was working with the the RNIB and groups representing blind and visually impaired people.

Ms Swift said: "This decision will have a negative effect, especially as Staffordshire County Council has no plans to scrap the concession.

"Effectively blind and partially sighted people living in Stoke will be at a disadvantage compared to the rest of the county.

"The need is still there, people's disabilities don't go away."

The Labour-controlled authority planned to cut £36m for this financial year 2011/12, but said it was likely to miss that target by just under £2m.

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