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Public Transport: Concessions

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many pensioners have (a) applied for and (b) received free (i) bus and (ii) rail passes in (A) Bolton and (B) Greater Manchester since the scheme was introduced. (291644)

Bolton is part of the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE), which is responsible for administering concessionary travel, including the issuing of passes, in the Greater Manchester area. The Department for Transport does not maintain records of how many pensioners have applied for passes or how many passes individual authorities have issued.

The last information held by the Department was that as of 4 March 2009, the GMPTE scheme had issued 453,000 concessionary passes. This includes passes issued to disabled people as well as those aged 60 and over.

The concessionary pass is valid for travel on local buses anywhere in England and in Greater Manchester the same pass can also be used on local trains and trams. This is not the case in all local authorities but there is a separate national scheme that gives older people discounted travel on rail—the Senior Railcard, which costs £26 per year and gives people aged 60 and over one-third off rail travel across the UK.