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Volume 496: debated on Monday 20 July 2009

Travel Passes (Lancashire)

Despite West Lancashire borough council being a net gainer in the Government’s concessionary transport scheme, older people and the disabled in my constituency are forced to choose between free bus travel and a discounted rail card, while their neighbours in Liverpool and Manchester have free bus and rail travel. To that end, I bring a petition to the House of Commons from the residents of West Lancashire and others. It states:

The Petition of residents of West Lancashire, and others,

Declares that the current arrangements of West Lancashire District Council force disabled people and those over sixty years of age to choose between a national off-peak bus pass and a discounted rail card; further declares that asking people to make a choice between these two items is not acceptable; and believes that local passholders should get a better deal, like their neighbours in Wigan and Southport.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Secretary of State for Transport to do all in his power to ensure that West Lancashire District Council changes its arrangements so that disabled people and those of sixty years of age are entitled to both a national off-peak bus pass and a discounted national rail card.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


Public Transport (Lancashire)

Rossendale Transport is the local authority-owned bus company that serves the Rossendale valley in my constituency and many of the surrounding areas. The local authority, Rossendale borough council, is now considering whether to sell off the company. This has met widespread opposition in the local area, and particularly in my constituency, from all those who rely on the services of Rossendale Transport. I am therefore pleased to have this opportunity to present the petition of the customers of Rossendale Transport in my constituency. It states:

The Petition of the customers of Rossendale Transport,

Declares that the announcement by Rossendale Borough Council, that they plan “to test the market to ascertain the interest in Rossendale Transport Ltd” with a view to a possible sale of the company, is against the wishes of the thousands of people who have signed this Petition; notes that Rossendale Transport is one of the few local authority-owned bus companies which makes a profit; believes that if such a sale were to proceed, it could seriously jeopardise public transport services in the Rossendale Valley which are essential to those without access to a car, particularly the young and the elderly; and further declares that up to 200 jobs could be put at risk.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to take any necessary action to prevent Rossendale Borough Council from selling off Rossendale Transport.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.