Public Transport: Concessions

Transport written question – answered on 30th April 2008.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Labour, Stroud

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the effect of the introduction of the nationwide concessionary fare scheme on (a) the level of eligibility set by local authorities and (b) the level of access by disabled people.

Photo of Rosie Winterton Rosie Winterton Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (Yorkshire and the Humber), Minister of State (Department for Transport)

The criteria for eligibility for the statutory minimum concession are set out in statute supported by revised guidance recently issued by the Department.

The Transport Act 2000 (or for those resident in London, the Greater London Authority Act 1999) makes provision for concessionary travel to a wide range of disabled people. Categories of disability were drawn up following representation from local government and support from the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee. The people eligible are as follows:

any person who:

is blind or partially sighted; is profoundly or severely deaf; is without speech; has a disability, or has suffered an injury, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his/her ability to walk; does not have arms or has long-term loss of the use of both arms; has a learning disability, that is, a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning or; would, if he/she applied for a grant of a licence to drive a motor vehicle under Part III of the Road Traffic Act 1988, have his/her application refused pursuant to section 92 of the Act (physical fitness) otherwise than on the ground of persistent misuse of drugs or alcohol.

Travel concession authorities (TCAs) continue to be responsible for administering concessionary travel schemes for their residents, assessing eligibility and issuing passes. They remain able to offer travel concessions on a more generous basis than that specified as the statutory minimum.

As the England-wide statutory minimum was introduced on 1 April it is too soon to assess the effect of its introduction, but as part of our monitoring of concessionary travel the Department intends to carry out a survey of TCAs during summer 2008. This may include details of which authorities choose to offer more generous concessions and is due to report in the autumn.

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