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OAPs save £240 travelling around England with their free bus passes
2:00pm Tuesday 20th August 2013 in Devon
TIVERTON was the first stop for a retired Devon couple who travelled the length of England for free using their bus passes.
Michael and Jacqui Burden spent their summer holiday hopping from one service to the other, covering 500 miles before ending up in Carlisle, in Cumbria.
The week-long journey involved 28 buses with 15 different bus companies and would have cost them £120 in fares without their passes which entitle all those of pension age to free off-peak travel on local buses anywhere in England.
The trip was over two months in the making as Jacqui, who teaches music in Devon, mapped out the route which started at their home in Clyst Honiton, near Exeter, on July 29.
Michael, a retired laboratory scientist, said: “My wife is the planner and very good at organising trips.
“It was my silly idea to start with but Jacqui took it and ran with it and made all the arrangements. The buses were superb and they all delivered us on time.
“It could have been very difficult with 15 different bus companies and no overarching bus timetable, but we found the tourist information office were the most useful.”
However, the couple who keptadiary of their trip around the country, said they nearly missed their first bus from Exeter to Tiverton after the scheduledstand was changed last minute.
“That wasn’t a good start,” said Michael. “But it was one of the most enjoyable and interesting trips we have every done and it was right in our back yard.
“The format is totally different and you get caught up in the routine of looking up the bus and watching people and it encourages patience and gives you more time to take it all in rather than shooting past in the car.”
Just a week after returning and the couple are already planning their next long trip to Norwich and hope other OAPs will take advantage of the perk.
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