Brighton campaigner seeks changes to city’s disabled bus passes

Amelia Smith, 30, who has started a petition to make disabled bus passes valid earlier in the morning
Amelia Smith, 30, who has started a petition to make disabled bus passes valid earlier in the morning

A Brighton woman has taken her petition to the council in an attempt to change disabled bus pass use in the city.

Amelia Smith, 30, a freelance writer from Ingram Crescent, Hove, started an online petition after struggling to get to work on time using her disabled bus pass.

The petition, which has around 600 signatures, was discussed at a Brighton and Hove City Council meeting last month.

Amelia said: “I decided to start the petition after getting on the buses at approximately 8.55am and having my pass refused and waiting at the stop until 9am.

“I know these are the rules but I had enough of rushing to work for 9.30am and thinking just how silly and arbitrary this whole thing was.”

Currently, disabled bus passes are valid between 9am and 3.59am and all day on weekends and bank holidays.

When asked why making bus passes valid earlier in the morning is important, Amelia said: “Disabled people need to travel and commute just like everyone else.

“We need to be included. The idea that disabled people don’t work nor want to is rubbish - we deserve to be included.”

A council spokesperson said: “The council was deeply impressed by the call from local disabled residents and by the work of our local accessible buses champion, Victoria Garcia.

“We fully accept that extending the hours of our concessionary bus travel makes strong sense to ensure they can live well in the city and enjoy all that the city has to offer- both for work and employment.”

The council’s Policy & Resources committee will discuss a report on the issue at a meeting on January 23.