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Travel Concessions

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 8 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) on what basis he allocated funding to cover the cost of free off-peak travel for the elderly and disabled to each local authority in each year since the start of the scheme; (99980)

(2) what assessment he has made of the uptake of free off-peak travel for the elderly and disabled in 2005-06;

(3) what the expenditure was by local authorities on free off-peak travel for the elderly and disabled in each year since its introduction; and what estimate he has made of the costs of extending the scheme in 2007.

From April this year, older and disabled people have been guaranteed free off-peak local bus travel within their local authority area. Work on assessing uptake is in progress. Funding is provided via Formula Grant and is unhypothecated; therefore it is not separately identified for each local authority. Expenditure by local authorities on the statutory element of their local concessionary fare schemes entitlement is not held centrally.

From April 2008 people aged 60 or older and disabled people will be entitled to free off-peak local bus travel anywhere in the country. Up to an additional £250 million per year has been earmarked for the national entitlement.