|The Rushden Echo, 19th June 1964, transcribed by Jim Hollis
Pensioners Boggle at 2s a Mile
Residents in Rose Avenue, Rushden, are having to pay a fare equal to about two shillings a mile for the “privilege” of riding an extra 150 yards on the local bus.
This apparent gross travesty of justice came to light this week, after “Mr. Cobbler” exposed one anomaly in the fare structure of the United Counties Omnibus Company.
The service in question this time is the town bus, numbers 445 and 446. The service picks up at The Lightstrung and travels via St. Margarets Avenue to Boundary Avenue, through Rose Avenue, Westfield Avenue and Coronation Avenue.
To travel from The Lightstrung to the first stop in Rose Avenue, a distance of half a mile, costs two pence the minimum fare.
From there to the second stop in Rose Avenue is a distance of about 150 yards, and the fare goes up to five pence. For that price a passenger can go right to the end of the run, another mile away.
It seems once you are past the first stop in Rose Avenue you are on a five penny minimum trip, whether you travel another yard or 1,760 yards.
Hardest hit are the elderly persons trying to make the old age pension stretch to meet their needs. Understandably, they are most annoyed.
Rather than pay the extra three pence, pensioners get off at the first stop in Rose Avenue, though four who told us they did just this, live quite near the second stop.
Mr. James Kerr, 54 Rose Avenue, is disabled. He cannot walk for more than a quarter of an hour without having a rest, .he cannot work, has to live on a pension, and is 64-years-old.
“I like to go into town occasionally but it is ridiculous to charge an extra three pence just to go on to the next stop. A penny would be reasonable,” he said.
Mrs. Violet Greenwood, who is 65, lives at 45 Talbot Road, at the junction with Rose Avenue, near the second stop. She has difficulty in walking any distance, but the financial factor precludes her from saving her legs.
Seventy-six year-old Mrs. Mary Dodson, 59 Rose Avenue, and Mr. H. W. Tebbutt, 43 Rose Avenue, had almost the same things to say.
A spokesman for the United Counties said it had arisen because of the recent fare increases. The company was aware of it and he thought that an extra fare stage should be made on the route. This would presumably make the fare to the second stop from The Lightstrung three pence or four pence.
But he added: “This is under consideration.”