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Bus Services: Concessions

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 29 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she is taking to ensure that buses in all areas have smart-card readers when smart cards for nation-wide pensioners travel concessions are introduced. (169477)

The Government have no immediate plans to fund the roll-out of smart readers on buses. It would not be practical to require smart readers to be installed in buses in all areas in time for April 2008 when the national bus concession is introduced.

Operators and local authorities are free to work together to implement full smart ticketing and we fully support such action. There are substantial advantages to bus operators and local authorities in going ‘smart’—reduced fraud and much better data on how many concessionary journeys are being made, which will help with reimbursement arrangements.