Fylde pensioner hits out at disabled bus pass refusal

Vernon Allen suffers with an injured back
Vernon Allen suffers with an injured back

A Fylde pensioner has hit out at “bureaucracy gone mad” after his application for a disabled bus pass was turned down for the first time – more than 20 years after he suffered a back injury.

Vernon Allen, from Freckleton, is a regular visitor to hospitals in Blackpool and Preston for appointments and says the card, which has entitled him to travel at any time for 50p per journey, is an essential money-saver.

But he was shocked to see his application refused by Lancashire County Council because of a “lack of evidence” of his disability.

Mr Allen produced a GP referral letter but he says that was termed insufficient as proof.

The council said it has tried to be as helpful as possible to Mr Allen, including the offer of an assessment in his own home, which he turned down.

But Mr Allen said: “Why should I suddenly now have to prove I have a back problem?

“I injured it at work 20-odd years ago and it has never been a problem on previous applications. It’ is just bureaucracy gone mad.”

As with all senior citizens, Mr Allen, who is in his 70s, is entitled to a pass which gives free travel after 9.30am on weekdays.

But Mr Allen said: “It is the early appointments that are my concern.”

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “We have issued Mr Allen with an older person’s pass which provides the same concessions as a disabled pass, only without the additional benefit of the lower flat rate fee to travel before 9.30am on weekdays.

“We have tried to be as helpful as we can to Mr Allen, and offered to arrange for an independent medical assessment to be carried out.”