Monday, 16 March 2009

Starcross has a bus pass!

In my day job, for my sins, I have the responsibility for operating my council's part of the English National Concessionary Bus pass scheme, which many boaters will be familiar with. I don't qualify for one myself - yet - but I oversee the issuing of them to thousands.

The bus passes themselves are quite sophisticated pieces of kit and incorporate a chip that enables them to be read by card readers which one day will be carried on every bus in England. My local authority, however, has a common border with parts of Wales -where a different system applies and we were recently asked to provide some test cards to a Welsh bus company which runs services into England so that they could calibrate their Welsh card readers to read English cards. The company that supplies our cards wanted £300 to provide them, but suggested that we might wish instead to issue standard cards with a bogus name for testing purposes. As we couldn't use real names and addresses or actual photographs we had to improvise, which is why this photo of Starcross, which was already stored on my PC after appearing on the blog now adorns an English National Concessionary over-60s bus pass!

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