Public urged to support trade union protest in Belfast over threat to remove over-60s travel SmartPass


By VIEWdigital editor Brian Pelan

The trade union UNISON has called on the public to support a demonstration next week in Belfast about a possible threat to end the over-60s travel SmartPass for people in Northern Ireland.

The protest, on Wednesday, August 16 at 12.30pm, will be held outside the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) offices at Clarence Court, 10-18 Adelaide Street, Belfast.

According to a statement from UNISON, the threatened cut could mean:

• The age of eligibility for a SmartPass will be raised from 60 to at least 65

• Elderly people and those with disabilities can’t use their SmartPass before 9.30am on weekdays

• Elderly people and those with disabilities can no longer use their SmartPass on the train

• The introduction of application, renewal and replacement fees for the SmartPass

“These cuts will harm the most vulnerable in our society during the ongoing cost of living crisis and climate crisis. Accessible and affordable public transport is more important now than ever,” said a spokesperson for UNISON.

People are urged to submit their own response to the DfI consultation –

Comment: Hands off the free NI travel SmartPass must be shouted out loud and clear –