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Concessionary Fares

Volume 222: debated on Thursday 2 April 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list those local authorities in England that provide concessionary fares for people of or above the age of retirement on (a) buses and (b) any other form of local public transport; and if he will list the extent of the subsidy in each case.

I am sending the hon. Member a copy of "Concessionary Fare Schemes in Great Britain in 1992", which was produced by the Department's directorate of statistics on the basis of returns by local authorities.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if the senior citizen railcard scheme will be retained to ensure concessionary fares for pensioners over the entire railway network after privatisation.

The senior railcard is a commercial initiative designed by British Rail to attract passengers and to maximise revenue by filling seats which might otherwise by empty; BR is not under any legal obligation to provide it. We believe that in a competitive environment it will be in the interests of the rail operators to continue to offer such discounts. We therefore see no need to impose requirements on operators to offer this particular discount facility. Transitional arrangements will be made to ensure that franchisees continue to honour existing railcards.