Letter: Give us an answer
This letter sent to the Star was written by Luisa Fletcher and Margaret McHale, S70 & S73
Regarding the full restoration of the train travel concession and feasibility of the Metro Gold Card implementation in the Sheffield City Region.
In the North East, a new scheme was introduced: the Metro Gold Card, whereby, a Senior Citizen pays something in the region of £12 per year. This gives a year’s travel on Metro, the Shields Ferry and on the Northern Rail services.
A Freedom of Information request informed that this generated £900,000 a year and that it was self-financing: a cost free scheme.
We, the people of South Yorkshire, had high hopes that the Gold Card Scheme, or something similar could be introduced in the area benefiting approximately 300,000 plus older people.
At the very least, the Gold Card project deserved some attention and an evaluation of its merits.
A feasibility study on the impact of its implementation in South Yorkshire would have been fitting. Nothing to lose!
The Mayor Dan Jarvis, agreed to investigate the scheme more than two years ago. However, since then, we haven’t heard anything relevant.
More recently, Mike Smith, asked the Mayor of Sheffield City Region whether he would consider introducing the Metro Gold Card, or something similar in Sheffield City Region.
The Mayor gave a very lengthy answer, but he did not even attempt to answer the question, and what is more he did not make any reference to the Gold Card. It is difficult to understand this reluctance…
Given this silence, we can be forgiven for making conjectures. Perhaps the Mayor has investigated and considered the Gold Card and has concluded that it would be too cumbersome and expensive to implement it. But he could explain this, or does he think it is too complex for us?
Or maybe, the Mayor has found out that the Metro Gold Card has good merits, (such as cost-free) but for some reason, he needs a bit more time to be totally sure about its feasibility. If this is the case, he could also tell us, and we would understand.
His answer would not just affect us. It is also for younger people, who in due time will become old as well.
At the very least, we need a statement as to when the results of this investigation will be ready.
Or, if the Mayor has investigated the Gold Card already, a fully explained and documented response would be very welcomed.
This is an important matter. Enhancing the quality of life of people, protecting the environment, economy and health of communities are important matters.
It would be an unforgivable mistake not to give full consideration to this project and more so, when it could be cost free. Time is of essence!
Mayor, please give us an answer.
It is important for democracy and accountability, or at the very least as an act of politeness, good public relations and respect for the people who elected you.
We await your response with great interest.