Instead of considering stealing back bus passes, extend their range to MP’s etc.

Yesterday, I had to visit a hospital out-patients for a five minute chat.

[Co-incidentally, I found that all the money spent on NHS computers isn’t going to teleconferencing and similar efficiencies but into setting up a system for departments to buy each others services, for when the hospitals are privatised].

The journey there, because of the bus timetables, meant that it wasted (definitely “wasted” as the meeting could have been just as effective with a 5 min. teleconference or phone chat) 2 hours of my life.

Of course I’m a pensioner and have nothing else to do except squander the few years that I have left.

However the thing that caught my attention was another item about ending free bus passes.

I’ve just scrapped my car (got £149 and gave £105 to car insurance companies for privilege).

If I bought another second hand car @ £3000 to last 3 years, it’d cost £160 for MOT’s £1000 for insurance, £600 for tax and, say, £300 for spares. Total about £5000, or £1700 p.a. Call it £6 per day. My journey, adding in petrol and parking charge would have been about £9 compared to the £7:70 for bus fares.

For an extra ~£1 I could have had door to door transport, in comfort, no waiting around, in the rain, and I’d have saved over an hour of my life.

I would have had the convenience of calling in for some shopping, which I had to do later at local shops, without the necessity of hefting a shopping bag around with the straps threatening to amputate my fingers.

With a car I could have visited a supermarket where the reduced prices would have more than offset the cost of the fuel (even at its present excessively over-taxed prices) and the time involved would have meant that my frozen foods would have not thawed, as they would have done, going by bus.

Having a car has other advantages, which the present generation has become used to.

Instead of the days out (up early, home late) of my youth, where a journey to the seaside, or Big City, was once or twice a year, we now expect day trips to the same places, which, by car, take up only the middle of the day.

If bus passes are scrapped, there would be a lot of unwelcome consequences.

I would expect:

The cost of living index to rise, as older shoppers are forced to use local shops.

Sales of frozen goods would be hit as local shops don’t have much capacity for such items.

Supermarkets and shopping centres would experience a drop in custom, unless they lay on their own free bus services. (their private parking firms would lose trade, as would the DVLA, whom they rely on).

There would be a greater claim on ambulance services, as older driver’s fail to cope with heavy traffic and cyclist’s get mown down by even more stressed out motorists and bus driver’s.

Buses would find some older people choosing to travel at peak times, increasing the need for a greater capacity at those times and reducing the demand outside peak times.

Hospitals and doctor’s would older patients more reluctant/unable to visit them, meaning missed appointments and an increased demand for more resources for home visiting.

There would be a greater demand for larger State pensions, bearing in mind that bus passes and Winter fuel allowances were political dodges to avoid earlier cost of living increments.

The only people to benefit would be local white van men, as pensioner’s forced to buy bulky items on-line, would create a new demand for their services. (of course that would increase the road traffic accident rate too, judging by how some of them drive.

Greater traffic congestion would mean more litigation against privatised ambulance,police and fire services.

Greater congestion would further impede bus services, as it would be difficult to fit in any more Bus Lanes.

A greater demand for parking places in Town centres, by those such as myself, who would revert to the car

I daresay that I could add further but what’s the point?

Our Chancellor, Dizzy Ozzy, has the mindset of a book clerk and can’t see beyond the “let’s cross this of the list” view of those Public School boys, trained to run an Empire, by being decisive and determined and bloody-minded.

The Donkey’s (leading Lions) of The Great War, with an ex-fag ready to fall on his sword and take any blame.

People who issue Diktat’s and leave to the underlings to implement them.

People, who faced with a problem,  envisage themselves as another Alexander cutting the Gordian knot and not worrying that the assemblage falls apart.

People who retire into a peaceful old age, with a peerage, or at least a gong, and maybe a statue proclaiming the successes achieved by underlings, despite his best efforts.

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