The Welsh Government’s flagship free bus travel scheme celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and to mark the occasion John Richards of Colwyn Bay will today stop in Wrexham as he continues a five-day tour of Wales using his bus pass.
John started his journey in Colwyn Bay and is travelling across the length and breadth of Wales to Cardiff Bay and back in order to highlight the possibilities of travel using the free bus pass.
Introduced by the Welsh Government in 2002 the popular concessionary bus pass, which is currently used by approximately 700,000 people, allows free travel on registered local bus services for residents of Wales aged 60 and over and to the disabled of any age.
John Richards, who undertook a similar journey in 2002 when the scheme was introduced, said: “ Wales can be proud of its free bus pass scheme.
“By travelling from ‘Bay to Bay’ using my pass I hope to raise people’s awareness of the scheme and encourage pass holders to make the most of their free bus pass.”
The Welsh Government Minister with responsibility for Transport, Carl Sargeant, said: “The free bus pass scheme has greatly improved the lives of so many people in Wales.
“ This popular scheme reflects not only the Welsh Government commitment to encouraging sustainable transport but also our commitment to tackling poverty by enabling people to get out and about without having to worry about cost.
“ The free bus pass is a model of best practice in how it was developed through a real partnership between the Welsh Government, local authorities and the bus industry and I look forward to seeing the scheme go from strength to strength.”
Since its introduction in 2002 it’s estimated that over 400 million journeys have been taken by concessionary fare holders in Wales.
TV presenter Iolo Williams, who is also an Ambassador for Traveline Cymru, Wales’ public transport information service which provided timetable information for John’s journey, said:
“ We hope that John’s trip this week will raise people’s awareness of both the free bus pass and the valuable services on offer by Traveline Cymru so that people can make the most of their passes.
“ Traveline Cymru do an excellent job providing the general public in Wales and visitors to the country with up to date, joined up travel and transport information.”
John will be travelling throughout Wales using either scheduled local buses and the TrawsCymru longer-distance bus network– all of which can be used for free by eligible bus pass holders.