An elderly pensioner named Maureen took Sadiq Khan to task over the decision to remove her free bus pass. London recently confirmed that the freedom pass – handed out to all those above 60 years old – would not work between 7am and 9am during rush hour. This left Maureen, from Hammersmith, nearly in tears as she told Mr Khan that his response was “not good enough”.
The Labour Mayor of London tried to shift the blame onto Boris Johnson and the Government, claiming they had put the new measure in a recent deal with TfL.
Maureen told him during an LBC phone-in: “You should bring back the freedom pass between 7am to 9am. This has really affected me.
“I have to help my daughter with her children. It’s costing me £10 a day. When do you intend to bring it back? It is really inconvenient for me.
“You say every journey matters but mine clearly doesn’t.”
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Sadiq Khan responded: “I’m really sorry that you have to pay to use buses before 9am.
“When we do the deal with the Government in October, we will try to get this changed.
“When we renegotiate on October 15th, we will try to see that the next part of the deal allows people like you to use the freedom pass before 9am.
“The reason why the Government were keen for this – and I agree with them on this – was not a money-saving exercise.
Maureen continued: “It isn’t. I moved here from Ireland and lived here for 55 years and this is the only thing I only got for free.
“I can’t afford £50 a week. My daughter is a teacher and she can’t afford to pay me. I’m stuck.”
Mr Khan responded: “It will be like this until at least the middle of October but we are quite clear that it has to be temporary.”
Social media condemned Sadiq Khan for his “condescending” response to Maureen.
One listener tweeted: “Is there anything that Sadiq Khan does that is not “the government’s” fault?”
Another added: “Never heard him mention ‘the government’ so often in 1 answer!”