Hucknall councillor wants free bus and tram travel for veterans to be a reality sooner

A Hucknall councillor says giving free bus and tram travel to armed forces veterans is a ‘no brainer’.

Friday, 7th January 2022, 12:35 pm

And Coun John Wilmott (Ash Ind), who represents Hucknall North at County Hall, has urged the council to hurry up and get on with a feasibility study looking into making free travel for veterans a reality after the recommendation for the study was successful moved as part of changes to the county’s Concessionary Travel Scheme arrangements at the first meeting of the year for the council’s transport and environment committee.

Many public transport operators give free travel passes to armed forces veterans around Remembrance Sunday.

In London, a veteran’s Oyster card allows veterans to travel free on bus, tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and most National Rail services.

Coun John Wilmott says free bus and tram travel for veterans is a 'no brainer'

However, no such scheme operates in Nottinghamshire.

Coun Wilmott said: “I am pleased that our idea to show continued support for veterans of the armed forces has been accepted.

"The council has an Armed Forces’ Covenant and this is a sensible move to continue to support veterans who have done so much for us.

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"Officers from council have confirmed that it is within the council’s power as part of a discretionary scheme and I look forward to this happening as soon as possible – it’s a no brainer."I’ve championed the interests of armed forces’ veterans for decades and they quite rightly ask me why veterans in London can travel for free when they have to cough up in Nottinghamshire.

"Our campaign is now a step closer and the council now needs to get on with their feasibility study and make this a reality.”

The council has launched an ambitious £98 million bid from Government to improve the county’s bus services which it is hoped will lead to significant improvements to the bus network.

Coun Tom Hollis (Ash Ind), spokesperson for the Independent Alliance at County Hall seconded the amendment.

He said: “We’re pleased that the council has agreed to look at providing additional support for veterans.

"The new flagship policy of the council to support veterans just needs to be costed up and negotiations need to start as soon as possible with public transport operators.

"We fully support the £98 million better buses bid – but we need to do more to show our gratitude to armed forces’ veterans and this is a logical step forward.”