Beurocracy gone loco
23rd March 2010
... Comments

In their wisdom Canterbury City Council are altering the age of eligibility for free bus passes in the borough, from 60 to 65.

Over the next 10 years the age when residents are issued with a concessionary bus pass will rise in 2 month increments every one month, depending on where their date of birth falls within set periods relating to that year.

Which is about as simply as I can explain it.

In fact, the new concept is so confusing that the Council have had to produce a "handy" table to allow people to find their date of birth, and correlate that with when they will be issued with a free pass.

The simplest part of the whole thing is that "Anyone born on or after 6 April 1955 will have to wait until they are 65 to claim their free bus pass" and "The changes to the age of eligibility will not affect anyone who has turned 60 on or before 5 April 2010"

Current rules allow that people become eligible for concessionary bus passes on their 60th birthday - the new plan means that by April 2020 this benchmark will have shifted to 65.

I have two problems with this - the fact that they are denying people a free pass for a further 5 years (trouble is, in 20 years time this will have been assimilated as the norm...), plus the confusing manner in which they're executing the new rule. I sense an advisor netted a healthy sum for that little assessment package.

I'm sure it could be explained that this method is fairer than simply changing the age in one maneuver, which is all very nice but doesn't alter the fact that people will have to be older to get a pass.

For your delectation and delight, please refer to the table below, as copied from the Canterbury City Council website: locate your date of birth to find out what colour my trousers were last Thursday .


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Ben Jackson is a freelance writer and photographer with The Little White Studio.

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