Transport: Buses and Coaches

House of Lords written question – answered on 2nd April 2009.

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Photo of Lord Rosser Lord Rosser Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government on which bus and coach services in England those aged 60 or over with bus passes could travel free of charge on 31 March, but can no longer travel free of charge on and from 1 April.

Photo of Lord Adonis Lord Adonis Minister of State, Department for Transport, Minister of State (Department for Transport)

The statutory bus concession enables those aged over 60 and eligible disabled people to travel free on off-peak local bus services throughout England. From 1 April minor changes are being made to the eligibility criteria for which services are included in the statutory bus concession. The changes are intended to clarify the existing eligibility criteria and will explicitly exclude certain types of service that are outside the spirit of the statutory national concession. This will reduce the potential for any confusion over whether a service is eligible and has been well received by operators and local authorities, which have been consulted throughout.

The following types of services will be explicitly excluded from the statutory concession from 1 April:

services on which the majority of seats can be reserved in advance of travel (such as coaches);services that are intended to run for a period of less than six consecutive weeks;services operated primarily for the purposes of tourism or because of the historical interest of the vehicle;bus substitution (rail replacement) services; andservices where the fare charged by the operator has a special amenity element.

Local authorities will, however, remain able to offer concessionary travel on any service affected by the changes on a discretionary basis.

People aged over 60 and eligible disabled people are also able to take advantage of the half-price coach concessionary travel scheme, which was established in 2003.

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