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Travel Concessions

Volume 403: debated on Tuesday 8 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the total annual cost of extending a national half-fare travel concession to all young people aged (a) 14 to 16, (b) 14 to 18 and (c) 14 to 21 would be. [107397]

It is estimated that to cover the cost of extending half-fare travel concessions on local buses at all times to young people aged between 16 and 19 would be in excess of £180 million per year. Further information can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) total annual cost and (b) annual cost to central Government is in 2003 of extending the national half-fare travel concession to men aged 60–65. [107398]

The total annual cost of extending existing concessionary travel schemes to cover men aged 60–64 is put at £50 million, including those schemes which are more generous than the statutory minimum half-fare requirement. That amount has been provided by central Government in the local government finance settlement 2003–04. It is estimated that extending the statutory minimum half-fare travel concession to men aged 60–64 would have cost about £30 million.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much is being provided by the Government to (a) the London borough of Redbridge, (b) the London borough of Waltham Forest and (c) all local authorities to help fund the travel concessions for men aged 60 to 65; and if he will make a statement. [107749]

We have provided an extra £50 million in the local government finance settlement 2003–04 to cover the additional cost of concessionary travel for men aged 60—64 in England. This amount is distributed by Formula Spending Shares in the Environmental, Protective and Cultural Services block, which take into account various factors such as deprivation and population density and sparsity. Because the distribution of this £50 million was considered alongside other costs falling on local authorities in deriving the formulae, it is not possible to provide a meaningful FSS allocation for individual authorities.