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Bus Services: Birmingham

Volume 508: debated on Monday 29 March 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much funding his Department has provided for concessionary bus travel in Birmingham since the inception of that scheme. (325164)

The administration of the concessionary travel scheme in Birmingham is carried out by Centro, the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive. The Government provide funding for concessionary travel in Birmingham through two channels: formula grant to Birmingham city council and special grant to West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority (WMITA).

Before 1 April 2008, funding for the statutory minimum bus concession was provided exclusively through the formula grant system. Formula grant is an unhypothecated block grant and as such it is not possible to identify how much formula grant has been allocated to local authorities for any particular service, such as concessionary travel for older and disabled people.

From April 2008, the Department for Transport has provided additional special grant funding to local authorities to cover the extra costs of providing England-wide travel, of which WMITA received £12,352,518 in 2008-09 and £12,643,851 in 2009-10. The Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) continues to provide the bulk of concessionary travel funding to local authorities through formula grant.

The Department for Transport also provided WMITA with £2,185,500 in 2007-08 for the cost of producing and issuing the new England-wide bus passes to all those eligible.