MLA in free travel for elderly plea

Ulster Unionist Assembly member Roy Beggs has voiced support for the UUP Transport Minister Dany Kennedy’s call that the concessionary travel scheme should be protected by the Finance Minister and the NI Executive.

The East Antrim MLA said “It is my belief that free travel is beneficial to older people as it facilitates visits to friends and family, therefore keeping them active and independent. It reduces the potential for older people becoming isolated and so has a beneficial health impact.”

Mr Beggs added: “I understand that as of yet, the Finance Minister Simon Hamilton, of the DUP, has not proposed to protect the concessionary travel funding.”

He concluded: “I would hope that the Finance Minister and the Executive listens to Danny Kennedy and unanimously agree to continue to support free public transport for older persons.”

The Executive has to find £100 million to pay fines for failing to introduce benefits cuts.