Just the ticket as Wyre OAPs go free once again

Travellers celebrate using their free Nowcards once more
Travellers celebrate using their free Nowcards once more

After two years and several campaigns, Wyre’s pensioners are finally able to ride free on the trams again.

On Friday, residents from Fleetwood, Cleveleys and elsewhere in the borough stepped onto the trams and were allowed to use their NowCards for the first time since the concessions ended in April 2014.

It’s brilliant that the free travel for our pensioners is back

The free travel on the trams was axed after Blackpool Council said it could no longer afford to fund the travel of pensioners from outside its boundaries in the resort.

There was anger in Fleetwood and Cleveleys, where pensioners argued they were being discriminated against.

But after a deal was struck between Labour-run Lancashire County and Blackpool councils, the concession was brought back into effect last Friday - the start of the new financial year.

Fleetwood woman Angela Patchett, who led one campaign, said: “It was always an unfair rule and was bad news for Fleetwood, Cleveleys and even the shops in Blackpool.

“It’s brilliant that the free travel for our pensioners is back.”

The Wyre passengers just need to show their NowCards on the trams and a chip in the ticket machine recognises they are from Wyre.

Andrew Varley, public transport manager for Lancashire County Council, said: “There should be a smooth transition to the new arrangements whereby NowCard holders who are resident in Wyre will have free travel on the Blackpool to Fleetwood Tramway.”

Bob Mason, service delivery director at Blackpool Transport, said: “Wyre residents with valid NowCards don’t need to do anything, they can simply show their NowCard on the tram and the chip will recognise where they are from. This won’t apply to people from others areas of Lancashire, such as Bolton or Lytham.”