Bus pass holders can now travel before 9am

As a result of coronavirus and the announcement by some of the supermarkets that they will be opening for their first hour just for older people or those with a disability, North Somerset Council is extending the hours when bus passes can be used.

At the moment holders of a Diamond Travelcard bus pass for eligible older and disabled people can travel on any local bus for free after 9am Mondays to Fridays and all day at weekends. To enable these vulnerable groups to access the early shopping opportunities at local supermarkets, local buses operated by First West of England, Stagecoach West and Carmel Bristol will accept Diamond Travelcards on all journeys throughout the week.

Leader of North Somerset Council, Cllr Don Davies, said: “Normally concessionary travel doesn’t start till 9am. We want to make sure people can get out to replenish their food supplies and several of the supermarket groups have announced that they will reserve their first hour of trading for those with disabilities and older people.

“I’m pleased we’ve been able to make this change in North Somerset so promptly. All time limits are temporarily lifted so passes can effectively be used all day any day.

“Each supermarket seems to be announcing different timings (some as early as 7am) so we wanted customers to have the most flexibility to travel when they need to.”

The new timings will come into effect from today (Thursday 19 March) and will be reviewed on a weekly basis.