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Bus Services: Concessions

Volume 490: debated on Monday 23 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what funding his Department provided in (a) 2002-03 and (b) 2007-08 for the concessionary bus fares scheme in the Torbay Unitary Authority area; what the growth in passenger numbers during this period was; what proportion of the cost of the scheme in Torbay Unitary Authority area has been met by (i) the Exchequer and (ii) the local unitary authority since 2002; and what percentage of the population in (A) Torbay Unitary Authority area and (B) England is aged over 60 years and entitled to a concessionary bus fare. (264257)

Before 1 April 2008, funding for the statutory minimum bus concession was provided exclusively through the Formula Grant system, which is administered by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG). The Department for Transport therefore provided no separate funding to Torbay Unitary Authority for concessionary bus travel in 2002-03 or 2007-08.

The Department did however provide Torbay unitary authority with £120,832 in 2007-08 for the cost of producing and issuing the new England-wide bus passes to all those eligible.

In 2008-09 Torbay unitary authority received additional special grant funding from the Department for Transport of £980,000; an increase of 38 per cent. on the authority’s spend on concessionary travel in 2007-08. The total number of bus journeys rose by 14 per cent. in England between 2002-03 and 2007-08. In 2007-08, 968 million concessionary trips were made in England. We do not hold data on the number of concessionary trips made in prior years.

In Torbay, 30 per cent. of the population is over-60, compared to 22 per cent. in the rest of England.