Mayor keeps his promise for free travel at 60
Added: 5 July 2012 | Updated: 31 July 2012
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has announced the launch of a new type of Oyster card, which entitles Londoners who are 60 or over to free travel in the capital.
The Freedom Pass used to be available to all Londoners on their 60th birthday, but the rise in the state pension age means that the age you are eligiable for the pass has been rising incrimentally - eventually it will rise to 65.
Campaign groups such as Age UK London and Transport for All have been calling for the Freedom Pass age to be lowered to 60 once again. The pass had become a hot issue during the recent Mayoral elections – with Johnson trading blows over it with former Mayor Ken Livingstone, Labour’s candidate.
At the Age UK London mayoral hustings event back in February, Livingstone had accused Johnson of not doing enough to fight the change when it had first been introduced.
Johnson obviously took note and it became one of his manifesto pledges. As the new London assembly term started, London Assembly members were quick off the mark to insist Mayor Johnson publish the details about the proposed scheme.
Launched as the ’60+ Concessionary Travel Scheme’ the new oyster photocard will bridge the gap for Londoners who are 60 but not yet eligible for the Freedom Pass. It is expected to begin on November 1st 2012, with an online application system available from late October.
Transport for All welcome the new scheme. Director Faryal Velmi says:
“We are very pleased that the Mayor of London has kept his promise of providing free travel to Londoners when they reach 60. Over the last year we have received many calls from older Londoners who are disappointed and upset that they cannot get a Freedom pass when they expected to“.