Clause 3

Part of Concessionary Bus Travel Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:00 pm on 5th June 2007.

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Photo of John Leech John Leech Shadow Minister (Transport) 12:00 pm, 5th June 2007

We are happy to support the amendment. It is vital to ensure that the system of payments to operators works effectively. The added complication of widening it to a national scheme will no doubt make it more complicated. Ultimately, we want to see the swift implementation of a smartcard system that allows direct payments to operators, so that no local authority is better or worse off under the payments scheme.

When we reach the next amendment, I am sure that the hon. Member for Tyne Bridge will explain how the existing scheme has caused Tyne and Wear PTA serious trouble. We therefore need a review after two years, but we also need to look at a smartcard system in the longer term to ensure that payments for every single journey go directly to the operators.