Mother’s concerns for blind and autistic son over bus pass cut

A Dunstable mother has issued concern that her registered blind and autistic son is denied free peak travel with his bus pass.

By Tom Lewis
Friday, 11th July 2014, 4:37 pm
Joshua Newman is registered blind and suffers from autism,
Joshua Newman is registered blind and suffers from autism,

Central Bedfordshire Council offer free bus travel at all times for the disabled and pensioners, but the same bus pass is only usable at off peak times at bus stops operated by Luton Borough Council.

Joshua Newman, 20, of Lover’s Walk has experienced problems due to this difference in policy on several occasions.

Joshua, 20, who is registered blind and suffers from autism, boards the bus in Dunstable early in the morning, in the jurisdiction of Central Bedfordshire Council, but has to change buses in Luton in order to get to Barnfield College, leaving him unable to use his pass.

His mother Brenda Brereton said: “The problems that its caused have been horrendous, the fact that they dont offer the off peak service has left my son stranded at the side of the road, and that puts him in all sorts of danger.

“Luton Borough Council need to look at the whole picture, and take the needs of the elderly and disabled into account.

“They need to consider those that have to get around at peak times for a reason.”

A spokesperson for Luton Borough Council said: “The previous 24 hour enhancements to the scheme, similar to those currently operated by Central Bedfordshire, were withdrawn in April this year in response to government funding cuts to enable the council to continue delivering sustainable key services for local people.

“Each local authority operates school and college transport schemes for pupils and students with special educational needs and disabilities.

“We encourage any parents and carers whose children have difficulty accessing school or college to contact the Council for home to school travel advice.