Fare’s fair as older Londoners enjoy free pre-9am travel trial on Fridays

Pensioners in London struggling to make every penny count have welcomed news of the temporary re-introduction of pre-9am use of the Freedom Pass and 60+ Oyster on Fridays.

With research from Age UK London revealing that over a third (36%) of older Londoners say that the city is becoming increasingly unaffordable for them, the cost of transport is a concern, limiting older Londoners’ ability to get around the city. That has made the temporary re-introduction of pre-9am use of the Freedom Pass and 60+ Oyster on Fridays, under the Mayor’s recently launched trial, a welcome relief.

Some 79% of older Londoners report that their finances are a key concern, with the rising costs of food and energy making every penny counts. Data published by Age UK London in October 2023 highlighted that almost a quarter (24%) of Londoners over the age of 50 are living in poverty.

The research also shows that 39% of older Londoners are not satisfied with their financial situation, highlighting unmet needs and challenges faced by older people concerning financial security. 

Those who rely on the state pension alone say that their tight finances are having to be stretched even further.

Abi Wood, CEO, Age UK London said: “The financial struggles of older Londoners, whether they are still working or retired, are continuing and worse than ever. We continuously hear stories from people about the daily challenges they face.

“The reintroduction of free travel on Friday mornings for Freedom Pass and 60+ Oyster card holders over the next three months is welcome, but by no means goes far enough. As we get closer to the London Mayoral and Assembly elections, we will continue to be asking for more help for older people from the candidates, including bringing back free travel on weekday mornings and other ways to help them make ends meet.”

The off-peak Friday trial will continue until June and was introduced by the Mayor to assist Londoners with the cost-of-living, as well as encourage travel into the capital on a day when many people work from home.

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