AM seeks clarity after new bus pass launch issues

Wrexham’s Assembly Member is hoping lessons have been learnt after Transport for Wales’ new bus pass campaign launch experienced difficulties.

Many constituents have contacted Lesley Griffiths AM on the matter and she has written to the Welsh Government’s Transport Minister, Ken Skates AM on their behalf.

Last week (11 Sep), Transport for Wales (TfW) launched one of its largest public engagement programmes aimed at encouraging people to start renewing their bus passes.

However, exceptionally high demand resulted in the TfW website crashing.

Lesley Griffiths AM said: “Renewing the estimated 750,000 cards that are currently in circulation across Wales was always going to be a major task, however, I do believe Transport for Wales could have better prepared for the process.”

“Not only did the technical issues concerning the website cause problems but the company should have recognised that a number individuals of the older generation may not be comfortable renewing their passes online.  It has resulted in unwarranted stress and anxiety for some of my constituents.”

“While I have reassured residents there is still plenty of time to reapply, I have also written to the Transport Minister to highlight the difficulties my constituents have experienced in the hope lessons will be learnt.”

The current green coloured bus passes are valid for the rest of the year but after 31 December 2019, a new Concessionary Travel Card will replace the existing passes.  The new-style cards offer the same benefits as the current cards, meaning those aged 60 or over or who have a qualifying disability in Wales will be able to travel free of charge on all registered local bus services.

Transport for Wales are addressing the concerns stating application forms are being distributed from this week to those who have already requested them.  A PDF version is available on TfW’s website to enable people to print them off at home and paper forms are also being distributed to all councils across Wales so people can pick them up in person from ‘their local communities’.

More information can be found on the Transport for Wales website.  To request an application form or find out where they can get help locally, people can email [email protected] or call the help line on 0300 303 4240.