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Public Transport: Elderly

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent steps the Government have taken to make public transport more affordable for older citizens. (256817)

The Government introduced the statutory minimum bus concession in England in 2001 giving half fare local bus travel at off-peak times to older and eligible disabled residents. In April 2006 this was improved to give free off-peak bus travel in a resident's local area.

From 1 April 2008, this was extended England-wide so that 11 million older and eligible disabled people are entitled to free off-peak bus travel anywhere in England.

The Government are providing around £1 billion each year to support the England-wide concession. An extra £212 million has been made available to local authorities from 2008-09, through a special grant, to fund the increased cost of the new statutory minimum bus concession. The funding allocation was approved following debate in the House on 25 March 2008.