The main thing I want to say is Thank You to everyone including LAfF colleagues supporting our campaign and others in different ways and at different stages.
The campaign (which has reached the end of a chapter) started back in May and culminated last week in thousands of people getting involved, primarily by sharing the campaign with friends, neighbours and others. Nearly 50,000 people (in just 7 days) wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport using our e-action alone.
It is of course a nuanced situation but the main headline for us from yesterday is that the value of older Londoners travel concessions has been recognised and these concessions are safe, at least for the next 6 months.
Here is a statement we released with the Child Poverty Action Group yesterday: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/london/about-us/news/articles/2020/11/age-uk-london-and-child-poverty-action-group-respond-to-new-tfl-deal/
(as you know under-18s concessionary travel was also under threat and we were always keen to have an intergenerational element to the campaign so good to work with friends at CPAG)
This twitter thread sums up some of the key points: https://twitter.com/ageuklondon/status/1322850362978684930
· We are disappointed that the suspension of pre-9am weekday concessionary travel (now in place for 140 days) has not been lifted. Whilst this wasn’t a huge surprise we know it will continue to have a negative impact, particularly when lockdown lifts, on many older Londoners. We have heard from thousands of people that rely on their travel concessions to travel before 9am – not because they want travel but because they have no alternative. We will continue to raise and campaign in this issue.
· This is a victory (and that should be recognised) but the long-term status of these concessions is by no means secure. The next round of negotiations will take place weeks before a Mayoral election and a highly political issue will only become more politicised.
· TfL will be under even more pressure from government to find cost savings to fund concessions and travel concessions (particularly the 60+ Oyster card) soon be back in the spotlight).
· The national lockdown was announced five hours before the current TfL funding deal was due to expire. The new deal covers the new lockdown but hopefully quite a few months after that. We know older Londoners’ will continue to use public transport responsibly and with extreme caution – this is of course something we support. We urge everyone to look out for each other during the next few weeks and beyond.
– Age UK’s main COVID-19 webpage can be found here: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/coronavirus/ (This will be updated)
– Details of your local Age UK in London can be found here: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/london/about-us/local-age-uks-in-london/
We start thinking about the next stage of the campaign today and will of course keep you all updated.
Thank you for all your support and for contributing to a success.
Senior Campaigns Officer
Age UK London