03/04/2002

Minister lauds free travel initiative as a success story

More than 90,000 senior citizens have already applied for their SmartPasses that will entitle them to free travel with Translink, the Minister for Social Development Nigel Dodds has said.

The Social Security Agency working with the Department for Regional Development and Translink have brought about the free travel initiative, which was approved by the Assembly last year.

Speaking on Wednesday April 4, Mr Dodds said: “So far we have had responses from more than 90,000 people which is very encouraging. But we will continue with the publicity effort for some time to come.

“It is vital that we do all we can to ensure that our senior citizens have access to information which gives them the opportunity to obtain the public services that are theirs by right.”

The Social Security Agency has been involved in a major mailing exercise over the past few months during which 220,000 application forms and leaflets were issued to senior citizens to publicise the introduction of the concessionary fares SmartPass on 1 May.

The campaign, the minister explained, is continuing on a quarterly basis to keep up with further people as they become eligible. A further 4,000 application forms and leaflets are being mailed across Northern Ireland over the next week.

“This will help ensure that all those who are, or will become, eligible for the new SmartPass face as little delay as possible,” Mr Dodds concluded.

(AMcE)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

17 February 2020
Paul Quinn: Parents Hold Talks At Stormont
The bereaved parents of Paul Quinn have taken the matter of their son's murder to Stormont. Breege Quinn repeated her call for Sinn Fein's Conor Murphy to publicly state that her son was not a criminal. The 21 year-old was beaten to death in a barn near Oram, Co Monaghan in 2007. His mother maintains that the IRA was behind the killing.
12 February 2020
Health Service Needs £661m- Minister Swann
The Department of Health will need over £660 million to keep up with current services and tackle waiting lists over the next year, the Minister has said. Robin Swann marked his first month in office by spelling out the extent of the financial pressures ahead of the local health budget.
17 September 2003
MP calls for greater protection for the elderly
North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds has urged the government to meet the needs of senior citizens who are living in fear of violent attacks.
16 February 2007

All Ireland free travel for older people




Transport Minister, David Cairns, has today launched the All Ireland Free Travel Scheme for older people with the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern and Irish Social and Family Affairs Minister, Séamus Brennan at Connolly Station in Dublin.
01 October 2001
Free travel for province’s senior citizens
Senior citizens took to the roads across Northern Ireland for free as the initiative enabling them to travel free came into effect on Monday October 1.