Around a fifth of working age people live with a disability. For many of these people one of the biggest challenges of getting into work is the journey to work and back home.
Disabled person's bus passes in Kent are operative during off-peak hours, from 9:30am to 11pm on weekdays. The pass is therefore too late for most disabled people needing to take a bus to work. However, in Wales, Scotland and some other parts of England, such restrictions do not apply.
Research by the charity Scope shows that those living with a disability face additional costs of £583 per month on average, and that disabled people are more than twice as likely to be unemployed. By removing the current peak time restrictions within Kent, it would make it more affordable for people with disabilities to travel for work or medical appointments, while promoting use of public transport.
The Liberal Democrats at Kent County Council are therefore calling on the Council to remove the peak time restrictions applicable to both the Disabled Person's Bus Pass and Disabled Person + Companion Pass, effective from April 2020. The Liberal Democrat motion will be presented to the County Council on 11th July, 2019.