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Gibraltar Senior Citizens’ Association

Pic: Eyleen Gomez

Some weeks back a friend of the association who wishes to remain unanimous informed us that bus services nos. 5 and 10 would soon be announcing changes to fares and how it would affect senior citizens. At the same time this person asked if we would take the issue up or would we be agreeable that he should carry on. We were pleased at the offer of help and involvement and readily agreed that he should carry on and he, having had no reply from Citibus, teamed up with Mr Felix Alvarez to whom we are most grateful and together contacted Mr. Daryanani who in turn spoke to the directors of Citibus.

The Minister for Transport, Vijay Daryanani, has kindly looked into the above issue and advised as follows:

1. The Minister confirms having spoken to the owners of Citibus, who have advised him that the decision to start charging pensioners on routes 5 and 10 is a commercial decision taken by the Company. The Minister makes no further comment on this point due, one presumes, to the decision falling upon a commercial, and not Government entity.

2. Pensioners, it is confirmed, will be charged £1 per trip on routes 5 and 10. The general fare to the public is £1.40p.

3. Pensioners who paid for the issuing of their Citibus Bus Pass may apply for a refund. No details as to how to apply are provided, but presumably presenting said Card and any required identification at the Citibus offices should suffice.

Thank you for your patience in awaiting this information.
To this we should comment that government could now very well reintroduce the bus service to North Front, not so much for the frontiers users but for those to the supermarket.

Now that the restrictions and confinement are being eased, we are receiving requests for more benches in Main Street, Irish Town etc. and we have passed on this request to Minister Cortes, adding that unless there are some in stock, some of those benches from The Convent to Referendum Gate should be brought down to town centre and northern end where demand is highest.

Most of these latter benches are unused for days on end which contrasts with those in the centre of town which are resting our elderly and husbands while their better halves are shopping in nearby shops and therefore serving the purpose for which they were intended.

And by the way, the benches at bus stops still remain at an uncomfortable height.

Hardly a day goes by that our mobile phone rings and on checking we see that it is normally a German number, so as far as we are concerned a scammer to whom we pay no attention and immediately switch off.

The latest scams purports to be a local number, so with this one we have to be extra careful, though here are two details to be on the lookout for: first that Gibtel number has at least one “0” and the scammer’s phone has none, and secondly that the usual method used is a short call, enough for you not to have sufficient time to lift to answer but intended for you to return the call, and this is where they make their money, or should we say, this is when they take your money!

And the last one, which rang our mobile last night, was from Central Africa Republic.

No hope for the more elderly.

We are pleased to report that Mr. Daryanani’s office is keeping us informed of their involvement on top up points for mobility scooters and is exploring what is available that is compatible with conditions in Gibraltar, though to be quite frank and honest, we have no illusions that the top points will ever see the light of day.

Without referring to our files, it must now be seven years or very close to since we originally requested these points and if they have not been installed by now, what hope do we have?

Similarly the payment of rents at New Harbours, it must now be a firm decision not to change venue so as not to u turn and that is the end of this saga and it seems as if to drive the point home, users of incontinence wear must now also go to New Harbours to collect, we wonder who took this decision?

And to think that at the Main Street Post Office there are two counters open for payment of fines?

How some seniors must be feeling after the introduction of new technology at Aquagib, where if wanting to pay a bill by phone, automated recordings take over and start by instructing that the customer number be pressed onto the phone, credit card number, expiry date, telephone number each followed by 1 and so on and on and eventually your bill is paid and a receipt number given.

May we ask if special provision is being made for the non-computer literate or indeed if whichever service is available in Spanish and Moroccan?

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