Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative & Unionist MSP for Lothian, is urging Edinburgh City Council to follow other councils in sending out reminder letters to blind and visually-impaired residents when their concessionary travel passes come up for renewal every three years. Miles spoke out after being contacted by constituents on the matter. He has written to the Council and raised the subject with the Scottish Transport Minister Humza Yousaf in writing and through a Parliamentary question. The Scottish Government has confirmed that it is up to individual local authorities to determine their own renewal process.
Speaking today Miles said:
“I have been contacted by a number of blind and visually-impaired constituents in Edinburgh who have found when trying to board buses that their concessionary travel passes have expired without them being aware of this. Some have found this a very upsetting and stressful experience and in one unfortunate case the constituent was told by the driver he had to pay and was only able to do so as he had by chance some change in his pocket.
“Notwithstanding the fact that I am sympathetic to their view that consideration should be given to automatic renewal of passes for blind and visually impaired people, I support their wish for Edinburgh Council to send out renewal reminder letters to them before their passes expire. This is something that many other local authorities do and it seems to me that Edinburgh Council should look at doing the same.
“I am calling on Edinburgh Council to review its concessionary travel pass renewal process and address the genuine concerns of constituents on this matter.”