THE MP for Thirsk and Malton is pressing for a change in the law which bans pensioners from contributing towards bus services.

Tory Anne McIntosh has applied for a House of Commons debate over the Concessionary Bus Travel Act.

North Yorkshire County Council leader Councillor John Weighell has estimated that tens of thousands of pensioners in the county want to contribute towards fares to make 150 threatened services financially viable for bus operators.

The authority, which is mid-way through cutting its budget by £168 million, decided to cut its bus subsidies by £2 million last week, despite warnings over the loss of services to sheltered housing estates and doctors’ surgeries.

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said the Government was focusing its efforts in making the bus concession more efficient, rather than by cutting back on the entitlement offered to older and disabled people.