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No clear case for free train and travel for pensioners

Select Committee hears evidence

There's no compelling case for pensioners on the Island to have free train and tram travel reinstated - that's the view of a Tynwald select committee.

It's been tasked with reviewing a petition for redress asking for the concession  to be reintroduced.

After hearing evidence from a number of people the committee has released a report with a single recommendation for Tynwald.

Two members of the Manx Labour Party, Lynn Sirdefiled and Carol Quine, who presented the petition, both gave evidence to the committee.

They claim heritage transport offers cultural benefits to senior citizens, especially those taking grandchildren on journeys, and boosts the local economy.

The committee's report however concludes this kind of travel was a 'leisure activity', and not essential public transport.

The petitioners argue it was a 'social injustice' and is costly for those on limited income.

Currently an annual pass for pensioners to have unlimited use of the three railways costs £37.50. 

The committee consider the current fares to be reasonable and says bringing back the concession would not address wider problems of social welfare needs.

Overall it found the case not strong enough to reverse the decision.

It will however recommend that Tynwald should consider offering an advanced purchase discount on passes for train and trams, but not for the Snaefell Mountain Railway.    

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