It is clearly wasteful to continue issuing free bus passes to everyone over a certain age, irrespective of their personal circumstances. However, I would like to make a case for passes to be issued automatically to retired non-drivers such as myself, when they no longer have access to transport of their own.
At the age of 53 (two years ago), I had to give up driving for health reasons, and now make regular use of local buses. By dispensing with my car, I have helped to ease traffic congestion by reducing the number of drivers on our roads. As things now stand, however, I cannot hope to qualify for a bus pass until at least age 65, and by that time it seems likely that the concession will have been withdrawn completely.
My suggestion is that people should have the opportunity to receive a free bus pass in return for permanently surrendering their driving licence. People who have never held a driving licence should also qualify automatically for a pass.
Why does this idea matter?
Adoption of this idea would ensure that bus passes are issued to those who need them most.
It would also benefit the environment by encouraging the use of public transport.