Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has highlighted in Parliament the case of Universal Credit claimants living in Bridge of Weir having to travel over 11 miles for an appointment at a Jobcentre in Greenock.

New Universal Credit claimants living in Bridge of Weir are required to attend Greenock Jobcentre for their initial appointment, as their closest Jobcentre in Johnstone, just 3 miles away, isn’t able to process Universal Credit applications yet.

People from PA11 postcode are included in the full Universal Credit rollout area, unlike most of Renfrewshire. Previously, they had to attend appointments in Port Glasgow, but after the closure of that Jobcentre, claimants living in Bridge of Weir now have to travel even further to Greenock.

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, commented:

“I was shocked to find out that some Universal Credit claimants from Bridge of Weir are being told that they have to make a 20 mile plus roundtrip to attend appointments at the Greenock Jobcentre, when there is a closer one just a few miles away in Johnstone. I have heard from people having to walk for miles as they can’t afford the near £8 bus fare. I have contacted the DWP and they have confirmed that after the initial appointment, people are able to request appointments in Johnstone, but this is little comfort to anyone struggling to make it to the initial appointment in Greenock to get their claim up and running.

“This is just one of the numerous issues with the Universal Credit rollout, which is causing hardship for people all over the country. I have written to the Leader of the House to request support for claimants from Bridge of Weir to help with their travel costs. People shouldn’t have to spend up to 14% of their benefits just on travel to the Jobcentre.”