To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate his Department has made of the surplus or shortfall experienced by each local authority as a result of the funding provided by his Department for the provision of free bus passes for people aged over 60 years.
The Government are confident that funding for statutory concessionary travel is sufficient in total to meet the cost to travel concession authorities (TCAs). The bulk of the funding remains within the overall local government formula grant settlement. Additionally, the Department for Transport provides a special grant totalling £212 million in 2008-09 based on generous assumptions around fares, pass take-up, extra journeys and additional costs. This new funding gave many TCAs increases of 30 per cent. or more on the spending that they reported for concessionary travel in 2006-07.
The Government will continue to monitor the impact of England-wide statutory concessionary travel. There are seasonal patterns to travel so it will take several months to see the full effect.