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Mum's fury over bus pass refusal

PUBLISHED: 16:58 22 May 2008 | UPDATED: 11:06 03 July 2010

THE guidelines for applying for a new bus pass have been slammed as “confusing” by the mother of a boy with learning difficulties.

The Gorleston woman, who did not wish to be named, applied for one of the free passes for her teenage son believing his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was covered by the criteria for concessionary travel.

THE guidelines for applying for a new bus pass have been slammed as “confusing” by the mother of a boy with learning difficulties.

The Gorleston woman, who did not wish to be named, applied for one of the free passes for her teenage son believing his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was covered by the criteria for concessionary travel.

He has been told he was not entitled to a pass because his condition was “not severe enough.”

To make matters worse, the youngster, who attends a special school in Norwich, had been led to believe he would receive a pass after initially calling for an application form a month ago.

A visit to Great Yarmouth Town Hall followed last Tuesday when he presented the necessary documents to prove his disability to Yarmouth Borough Council staff, including a doctor's letter and Disability Living Allowance papers. But 2 days his mum took a phone call from the council who said he was not eligible.

“I think it is absolutely wrong they got his hopes up. The council is definitely misleading people,” his mother said.

She decided to apply after reading in the Mercury in April about the plight of Yarmouth man Dean Maddison, who had not received his pass despite being entitled to one because he suffers from learning difficulties.

She said her son would have used the pass to get to school. He will not be able to drive for health and safety reasons even though he will be old enough to do so in three years time because his condition causes him to lose concentration.

Other symptoms include impulsiveness, restlessness and hyperactivity.

Patricia Guin, the borough council's assistant customer services manager, said applicants for free passes are informed of the criteria on the forms they have to fill in. They then have to provide evidence to prove their entitlement.

“You can apply whether you are blind, partially sighted, or permanently deaf. The forms indicate which criteria they are applying under and they are asked to supply the supporting evidence,” she said.

She added the council's criteria are based on guidelines provided by the Department for Transport (DFT).

The DFT's rules define an eligible learning disability as “a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning.”

The passes were launched at the start of April to enable anyone aged over 60 or “eligible disabled” to travel free on buses anywhere in England.


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