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Bus Services: Concessions

Volume 506: debated on Tuesday 2 March 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much his Department has spent on national concessionary bus travel for pensioners since the scheme's introduction in (a) Chorley, (b) Lancashire and (c) England. (319338)

From April 2008, the Department for Transport has provided additional special grant funding to local authorities to cover the extra cost of providing the extension to the concession; which now guarantees free off-peak local bus travel across England to all eligible older and disabled residents:

(a) £275,041 in 2008-09 and £281,528 in 2009-10 to Chorley borough council;

(b) A total of £5,608,371 in 2008-09 and £5,740,644 in 2009-10 to all of the travel concession authorities (TCAs) in the county of Lancashire (which includes Blackburn with Darwen council borough council and Blackpool council);

(c) A total of £212 million in 2008-09 and £217 million in 2009-10 to the whole of England.

The Department for Communities and Local Government continues to provide the bulk of concessionary travel funding to local authorities through formula grant. Before 1 April 2008, funding for the statutory minimum bus concession was provided exclusively through the formula grant system.

The Department for Transport did however provide £31 million of grant to England in 2007-08 for the cost of producing and issuing the new England-wide bus passes to all those eligible, of which a total of £1,121,352 went to the TCAs of Lancashire; this includes Chorley's allocation of £69,004.