A Hornchurch grandmother is angry at the new TfL guidelines that do not allow freedom passes for the over 60’s to be used before 9 am.
Margaret has been the office manager for a school in Shadwell for thirty-three years and is used to travelling on the 6.54 am train every day that allows her to get to school at 7.30 am.
Now, since June 15th the Freedom Pass for the over 60’s is not valid until after 9 am which means that Margaret will have to pay for her journey to work.
She told the Havering Daily: “I cannot afford to pay the high price it costs now for me to travel up to Shadwell every day. My husband is a cabby and he has not been able to work these last few months so things are not easy.
“I am used to getting the 6.54 am train each day that allows me to get to school in time for Breakfast Club. I have 345 children I register in every morning that attend Breakfast Club and I haven’t been able to do this which means our headteacher is now covering me.”
The Hornchurch grandmother is angry that not only can she not travel before 9 am, but has to watch empty trains go past her.
“The trains before 9am are empty now as you see all the other passengers on the platform who are my age clearly waiting for the 9 am train.
“At the moment at school we can manage with me getting in at 9.30 because we don’t have all the children back as yet. However, when school starts in September we don’t know how we are going to cope. I need to be there for Breakfast Club.”
Margaret is not just angry at the removal of the use of the Freedom Pass before 9 am but also at the fact that it is her age group that had their pensions date altered so have to work to earn a living as they are not yet eligible.
She finished:” We are the Waspi (Women Against State Pension Inequality) so we have to work as we can’t get our pensions. We aren’t entitled to our pensions that we have worked all our lives for so have to carry on working and now they are making it hard for us to work. This is not acceptable.”