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Bus Services: Pensioners

Volume 473: debated on Thursday 13 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many pensioners have claimed free bus travel in (a) the Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the north-east and (d) the UK in each year since its inception. (186668)

The Department does not hold information about the number of pensioners who have claimed free travel at the level requested. Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive (PTE) administers the concessionary travel scheme that covers (a) Jarrow, and (b) South Tyneside. Tyne and Wear PTE reported to the Department that it had 219,703 concessionary travel passes in circulation. For the (c) north-east region, it reported 466,445 passes in circulation.

As (d), it is not known how many people in the UK have claimed free bus travel. Concessionary travel is a devolved issue, so Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own arrangements.

In England, around 11 million older and eligible disabled people may benefit from the improved geographic coverage of the statutory minimum bus travel concession from 1 April this year. To date, around 7.5 million people have taken up passes. In the constituency of Jarrow, over 16,000 people are eligible for concessionary travel.