Older people and disabled residents across Merton, whose Freedom Passes are set to expire on 31 March 2015, will receive a letter from London Councils or Merton Council in the coming weeks explaining how to renew their pass.
Of the 1.3 million Freedom Pass users across London, around 860,000 pass holders will renew their passes between November and December- including 22,400 older people and 1200 disabled persons in Merton. The Freedom Pass allows older adults and disabled people to travel on public transport for free across the capital, as well as on local bus services throughout England at certain times. It is Europe’s most comprehensive free travel scheme.
There are two processes for Freedom Pass holders to renew their pass. Older residents (the pass has a blue stripe down the right-hand side) can apply online in a straightforward process which only takes a few minutes. Anyone who is unable to renew online can return their form by post to London Councils. Please note Freedom Passes cannot be renewed at the Post Office or by calling the council.
Disabled residents (the pass has an orange stripe down the right-hand side) will shortly receive a letter from the council together with a shortened application form. These must be returned before Christmas to confirm eligibility and to ensure the new pass is sent back in time. Anyone who does not complete a renewal application will not be able to use their pass from 1 April 2015.
Merton’s cabinet member for adult social care and health, Councillor Caroline Cooper-Marbiah said: “The Freedom Pass is paid for by Merton and offers many older and disabled residents the opportunity to get out and about for free on public transport. We are lucky in Merton to be well served by trains, trams and buses. If your Freedom Pass expires on March 31 2015, you are entitled to a new one providing you still live in London. Letters are being sent out at the moment and all Freedom Pass holders should receive one by the end of December.
“For older people, renewing online is the quickest way and anyone who needs help with this can always visit their nearest library where a member of staff will be happy to help. Disabled residents can also get assistance from the council’s concessional travel team.”
For more information, visit www.freedompass.org
Notes to editor
- Pass holders who passes do not expire on March 31 2015 do not need to do anything as part of this process
- The renewal process is being overseen by London Councils for Older People, which administers the Freedom Pass on half of London boroughs. They offer a helpline on 0300 330 1433.
- The renewal process for disabled persons in the borough is being overseen by Merton Council. For assistance, contact the concessionary travel team on 020 8274 4990.