General, HP

Borrow a book and get a bus pass

Thousands of older people needing a new book and bus pass are getting both in the same place – their local library.

Surrey County Council libraries are giving residents the opportunity to apply for disabled and senior bus passes in branches.

Staff at 23 branches will check eligibility, fill out the online application and take the required photo.

In the first six months of this year, staff at branches have helped more than 11,000 people get passes.

The same libraries also offer a checking service for Blue Badge applicants aged 80 and over who are renewing their badges.

Library staff make sure that the form has been correctly completed before it is submitted, preventing errors that can delay the issue of a Blue Badge.

Helyn Clack, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “Our libraries are at the heart of our communities and are so much more than a place to borrow books.

“Whether you need help with getting your bus pass, want to take a course on getting online or fancy getting an ebook to read on the go, our libraries cater for every demand.

“That’s why we’re continuing to invest in them, with millions spent on refurbishing busy branches and plans to replace existing libraries.”

In the past couple of years, Surrey has invested around £2m in refurbishing libraries such as Woking and Dorking.

Plans are in place for new libraries in Cobham and Merstham as part of a scheme with East Sussex County Council to use their collective purchasing power to cut costs.

To borrow ebooks, join the library and to find out more about courses on offer go to the council’s website or visit your local branch.

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