Many supermarkets are opening early for the elderly and disabled, but the bus pass time restriction is a barrier to reaching them.
The Concessionary and Disabled Passes are normally valid after 9.30am on weekdays making it difficult for many to take advantage of the supportive times being offered by many shops and businesses.
Hampshire County Council have now lifted the restriction.
Councillor Rob Humby, of HCC said:
“We understand these are difficult times for people and we are doing everything we can to help those who need it most. I hope that extending the times people can use their free bus passes may go some way in helping them make the most of dedicated early morning shopping hours for the elderly and vulnerable many supermarkets have now put in place.”
Panic buyers and hoarders have made shopping very difficult for many of the most vulnerable, stripping shops of both essential and non-essential items. The early opening of many of the supermarkets aims to counter this unacceptable behaviour that results in making the terrible situation with the virus even more difficult for those most at risk.
The Bus Pass is not only valid of local Whitchurch Stagecoach buses but also on the 59 Whitchurch Community Bus, HCC Taxicare and car schemes, Cango., and Call and Go.
HCC’s Director of Public Health added:
“I know people have particular concerns at this time for the elderly and those with long term health conditions.
“I would urge everyone to increase and enhance the same precautions they would take to keep themselves safe and well during flu season, with an emphasis on following the hygiene advice – particularly hand washing often and for 20 seconds. We can also help the elderly and vulnerable in our families and communities to be prepared by making sure they have supplies of their usual medication and day-to-day items.”
Thanks to all who have arranged this.
At the time of writing the information below on special shopping hours of the larger stores was posted on local social media. If making a special visit it would be advisable to check before travelling as times are changing as the situation develops.