Round the clock bus passes for the blind and visually impaired

Norfolk County Council today (Monday, January 16) voted to add 24-hour bus passes for the blind and visually impaired, and companion passes for eligible disabled people, to Norfolk’s concessionary travel scheme.

The full Council backed an amendment that blind and visually impaired pass holders should be able to use their passes at any time, and that companion passes should be available for all disabled people who need assistance when travelling.

Derrick Murphy, Leader of the Council, said: “We have listened carefully to all the arguments, including representations from the Norfolk and Norwich Association of the Blind, the Royal National Institute for the Blind and members of our Cabinet Scrutiny Committee.

“It is clear to us that blind and visually impaired concessionary travel pass holders have been especially disadvantaged by the loss of these discretionary enhancements and experience more disadvantages than other groups because of inequalities in benefit provision and social care eligibility.

“Few blind people can claim the higher rate mobility component of the Disability Living allowance, which is worth an extra �30 a week. This is a significant amount to people who are often on low incomes and who face the additional costs of being disabled. Blind and visually impaired people often have the same or greater need for support with travel.”