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Bus Services: Concessions

Volume 494: debated on Thursday 18 June 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate he has made of changes in levels of usage of bus services since the introduction of concessionary fares schemes in (a) 2002 and (b) 2008. (279707)

[holding answer 16 June 2009]: Table A is based on figures published today by the Department for Transport in Bus and Light Rail Statistics: Q1 2009, and shows the current estimates for bus journeys in England for each financial year since 2000-01.

Over the period covered by the table there were three major changes in the concessionary fares scheme:

June 2001: Statutory minimum bus concessionary fares were introduced in England. Local authorities had to offer a concession of at least half the single fare to women aged 60 and over, and men aged 65 and over.

April 2006: Free concessionary bus travel within the local authority was introduced in England for disabled passengers and those aged 60 or over. Some authorities continued to fund travel into other areas or on other modes of transport in their area at their discretion.

April 2008: Free off-peak local bus travel for older and eligible disabled people was extended nationally in England.

Table A: Bus journeys—England, 2000-01 to 2008-09

Local bus journeys (million)

Year-on-year percentage change

2000-01

3,842

2001-02

3,881

1.0

2002-03

3,964

2.1

2003-04

4,087

3.1

2004-05

4,140

1.3

2005-06

4,196

1.3

2006-07

4,470

6.5

2007-08

4,530

1.3

2008-091

4,674

3.2

1 Provisional.

Source:

Bus and Light Rail Statistics: Q1 2009