Fianna Fáil to oppose public transport restrictions for Free Travel Pass holders

Fianna Fáil will oppose any attempt to introduce restrictions on public transport use for Free Travel Pass holders, a TD has said.

The comments came after suggestions that elderly people could be banned from using their travel passes during rush hour.

Dublin Bay North TD, Sean Haughey said: "said, “The Free Travel Pass is a core social protection benefit for many vulnerable people and enables those who rely on it to retain their independence, participate in their communities and it helps to prevent loneliness and isolation.

"Re-introducing the ban would be a hugely regressive move, not to mention discriminate against those with a disability and those that have paid into a tax system most of their lives," he said.

The proposal was made by the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform today in order to free up space on packed trains and buses.

Up to 10% of journeys at peak times are by people using their passes, this amounts to around 10,700 passengers in Dublin.

Over 900,000 people in Ireland are currently entitled to free travel.

The AA said that people with free bus passes are not "less important" than fare-paying passengers at peak travel times.

Director of Consumer Affairs at the AA Conor Faughnan says you cannot create a hierarchy out of the public when it comes to transport.

Age Action also warned that older people should not be treated as a problem on public transport.

- Digital Desk

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