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12 February 2014 | Transport | By: Geoff Marshall

Ladies Who Bus: Riding The Final Bus Around London

Ladies Who Bus: Riding The Final Bus Around London

After pondering where Ponder's End was, Jo Hunt decided to take the bus there to find out. That one trip turned into a five year adventure for her, her sister-in-law Linda Smither, and Mary Rees — Jo's cousin — who can now say that they've travelled on every single London bus from end to end.

The trio blogged about their adventures as they went, as the Ladies Who Bus. On Monday 10 February 2014, it all finally came to an end when they caught the X68 bus from Russell Square to West Croydon, the very last journey on their epic mission.

What were the highlights? The worst journey? And would they still use their freedom passes to travel elsewhere now that this was all over? Geoff Marshall caught up with them, video camera in hand.

Geoff Marshall

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Working taxpayer

Well I'm so glad they've enjoyed their totally pointless 5 year trip, paid for by the rest of us working taxpayers, and gloated so much about how they have frittered someone elses money so extravagantly on such a waste of time project. Now they've finished rubbing our noses in it too with the constant pointless commentaries, maybe they'll go back to quietly mugging the rest of us with slightly more private totally unnecessary excursions to the seaside etc like all the other pass abusing pensioners. I'm paying for their pointless free travel now, but by the time I get to 60 there won't be a free pass for me for even the most essential trips to hospital etc because of their abuse, so thanks very much jo, Linda and Mary.... I'm guessing you're only not doing all the night buses to the ends of the routes next because you'd have to pay for your own special brew to "fit in" with all the other people who are still on the bus at the terminus!

Geoff Marshall

phew! thanks goodness. for a moment there i thought there wasn't going to be some glum killjoy idiot out there to leave a 'what a pointless thing to do' type comment, but @workingtaxpayer you have excelled yourself! well done. i'm voting your comment up. it deserves to be seen by everyone!!


Sadly the comments of Working taxpayer are shared on one of the transport forums where the Freedom Pass known as ENCTS outside of London has been downgraded in Sheffield, where it's currently free in Sheffield on rail services in the local area and is reverting to being a bus and tram pass which gives free travel between 0900-2300 and all day at weekends.

However, Working taxpayer clearly doesn't realise that there is a TfL subsidised 'Oyster 60+' card giving free travel for those over 60 who haven't reached pension age. The council funded Freedom Pass is also subsidised by TfL to allow free travel on TfL services including the bus from 2300-0900 weekdays.

As long as the scheme is still viable when he reaches 60 and lives in London, he'll still get free public transport access regardless of the pension age being 68.

Annabel Smyth

I've been pondering this, and I'm afraid I don't follow Working Taxpayer's logic - I mean, the buses are going to be running anyway, so how is travelling on them for free (and it is not just us older ones who have that privilege, but so does every child under 16, and a fair few over!) robbing the taxpayer? If they had to run the buses specially - and indeed, they do, some services, for schoolchildren who don't pay for the privilege - it would be another story.

I take it that Working Taxpayer pays for every single journey he or she makes with cash, rather than getting a discounted fare from an Oyster card or even a Travelcard? Otherwise, they too are benefiting from discounts they don't want other people to!