Bus Services: Concessions

Transport written question – answered on 12th November 2009.

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Photo of Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn Labour, Islington North

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what his most recent estimate is of the cost to (a) his Department and (b) London local authorities of the Freedom Pass in each of the last three years.

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Minister of State (Department for Transport)

The freedom pass scheme is the name of the concessionary travel scheme that is operated in London. It incorporates the England-wide bus concession that was introduced in 2008.

Before April 2008, funding for the mandatory bus concession was provided exclusively through the formula grant system administered by CLG. Formula grant is an unhypothecated block grant, that is, recipient local authorities may use it on any service they wish, providing statutory duties are met. This freedom means that CLG are not able to calculate how much grant has been provided for any particular service (such as concessionary travel).

In 2008-09, the Department for Transport provided an extra £212 million to fund the extension of the concessionary travel scheme to cover England-wide travel, of which, £55.4 million was provided to London Councils. London Councils reported in the minutes of their Transport and Environment Committee meeting of 11 December that the additional costs of the national bus concession were forecast to be £5.1 million in 2008-09.

The total reported concessionary travel spending of all London boroughs was £203 million in 2006-07, £222 million in 2007-08 and the budgeted spend for 2008-09 was £220 million.

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