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Double whammy’ fear over fare rises and threat to bus passes

PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:12 05 October 2010

LONDONERS could soon be hit by a double whammy’ of fare rises and council tax hype to cover the cost of travel passes for pensioners and the elderly. The warning comes over Government plans to cut £29 million funding for the Freedom Pass

By Mike Brooke

LONDONERS could soon be hit by a 'double whammy' of fare rises and council tax hype to cover the cost of travel passes for pensioners and the elderly.

The warning comes from London Assembly members who have slammed Government plans to cut £29 million funding for the Freedom Pass.

"We face a double whammy with this savage cut after Boris Johnson's decision to hike bus fares by as much as 20 per cent," said the assembly's transport chair Caroline Pidgeon.

"London is the only major city in the country to be hit by these Government proposals. Hard-up council taxpayers already facing a steep rise in fares in the New Year may now have to pay even more to maintain London's Freedom Pass."

The Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson at City Hall was reacting to the Department of Transport's proposals for the national bus concession which plans to remove £29m funding from London to help pay for it.

"This is an outrageous proposal," she added. "The Government is insulting London's pensioners and the disabled as well as council taxpayers."

The Whitehall consultation on the 2010-11 grant for the national concession is online, with details of funding cuts affecting London on page 23.

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