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Bus Services Bill [HL] - Report (2nd Day) (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:18 pm on 24th October 2016.

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Photo of Lord Bradshaw Lord Bradshaw Liberal Democrat 7:18 pm, 24th October 2016

I thank the Minister for that. I am not sure that I fully accept his logic. The no-better, no-worse-off rule is a fairly crude one because it is very difficult to tell. It is based on using large numbers of figures from all over the country and ignores the plight of the rural areas, which need more money. It is not coming from local authorities; it is decreasingly coming from them. The people who have these concessionary fare passes wish to be able to use them and the whole structure of the concessionary fare scheme needs to be revisited because it is clumsy and does not take account of the great differences there are in the nature of bus services in different parts of the country.

I have stressed that these rural services will never be run by anybody who expects to get very rich. They will always be marginal services. All I am trying to do is to move them up to a better status than they now have under the concessionary fare scheme so that far more of them might survive. The Minister referred to other things that have been done to support rural services but those are only small amounts compared with what could be done if the concessionary fare scheme were revisited. I heard the Minister but I would like to talk to him about this in some detail later, because it is a very technical subject and I do not want to bore people. On the understanding that we will have a meeting, I shall add that to the agenda if I may, so that I can explore the matter further. With that, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 114 withdrawn.

Clause 22: Power to make consequential provision