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Bus Services: Concessions

Volume 485: debated on Monday 8 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much funding has been provided to each local authority to run the national concessionary bus fares scheme in 2008-09; and what estimate his Department has made of the expenditure which will be incurred by each authority on the scheme in that year. (240408)

The additional funding provided to each Travel Concession Authority (TCA) to run their schemes following the introduction of the England-wide concession on 1 April is published in the Special Grant Report (No. 129). A copy is in the Library of the House. In total, £212 million of additional funding is available to TCAs in England in 2008-09. The special grant allocation is based on generous assumptions around fares, pass take-up, extra journeys and additional costs, and the distribution of the grant was consulted on in detail. This grant is in addition to the bulk of the funding for statutory concessionary travel which remains within the overall local Government formula grant settlement.

The Government are providing around £1 billion each year to support the England-wide concession and is confident this is sufficient in total to meet the cost to TCAs. We will continue to monitor the impact of England-wide statutory concessionary travel but final data on expenditure for 2008-09 is unlikely to be available before autumn 2009.