After over a year of campaigning across the West Midlands, WASPI (Women Against State Pensions Injustice) women are finally set to receive concessionary travel for buses and free Metro travel in the region. Women born on or between 6th March 1954 – 5th November 1954, who were affected by the changes in the 2011 Pensions Act, will be eligible for the concessionary passes. It is predicted this will benefit 9,000 women.
The scheme mirrors that implemented in Greater Manchester by Andy Burnham and comes after a year-long campaign led by local WASPI women and supported by Labour MPs and Councillors.
Jack Dromey, MP for Birmingham Erdington, said: “WASPI women have been victims of a monumental injustice. They helped to build Britain and Birmingham and deserve better. We have supported them every step of the way, helping to achieve something that will help make a difference to so many women’s’ daily lives. It is now vital that the Government continues to look at righting the wrongs the WASPI women have suffered.”
Bridget Green, chair of Birmingham WASPI women, said: “The WASPI Groups of the West Midlands have campaigned long and hard to fight the injustices foisted on them following rises of up to 6 years being added to their State Pension Age, with little or no notice. One being concessionary bus passes. After much effort and with the help of Labour MPs and Councillors, we are pleased that at last some recognition of our plight has been made by granting Concessionary Passes for bus and metro travel by the WMCA. “Although only a small number of women affected in the West Midlands will benefit, we regard this as a welcome victory. We are hoping that this will be a pilot scheme and it will be extended in future years so that more women can benefit”