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Public Transport: Concessions

Volume 475: debated on Monday 28 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will take steps to provide free local travel to those with long-term mental health conditions. (200673)

The Transport Act 2000 (or for those resident in London, the Greater London Authority Act 1999) makes provision for statutory concessionary travel to a wide range of disabled people. Categories of disability were drawn up following representation from local government and support from the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee. The people eligible are as follows:

any person who:

is blind or partially sighted;

is profoundly or severely deaf;

is without speech;

has a disability, or has suffered an injury, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his/her ability to walk;

does not have arms or has long-term loss of the use of both arms;

has a learning disability, that is, a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning;

would, if he/she applied for a grant of a licence to drive a motor vehicle under Part III of the Road Traffic Act 1988, have his/her application refused pursuant to section 92 of the Act (physical fitness) otherwise than on the ground of persistent misuse of drugs or alcohol.

Local authorities are free to offer their residents discretionary concessions over and above the statutory minimum at their own expense. This can include offering concessionary travel to other categories of people, such as those with mental health problems.

We have no plans at present to change the eligibility criteria for statutory concessionary bus travel to include people with long-term mental health conditions.