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Bus Services: Concessions

Volume 508: debated on Thursday 8 April 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent discussions his Department has had with (a) Transport for London, (b) local authorities in England and (c) other transport authorities on the time taken to process (i) applications for and (ii) renewals of concessionary travel passes to those aged over 60 years; and if he will make a statement. (325872)

The Department for Transport is not responsible for issuing passes and so does not hold information on the time taken for Travel Concession Authorities (TCAs) to process applications and renewals of concessionary travel passes. The Department has not had any recent discussions with Transport for London, local authorities in England or other TCAs on this issue.

TCAs are responsible for issuing concessionary travel passes to their residents. The maximum life of a pass is five years from the date of issue but there is no recommended minimum life. TCAs are therefore free to set the expiry dates, and renewal arrangements.

All English concessionary travel passes must now conform to a standard design and be ITSO smartcards. London was given until 1 April 2010 to meet these requirements which is why they have recently renewed all of the Freedom Passes in the capital.

The Department would expect TCAs to process routine applications for concessionary travel passes within a reasonable time frame although it is understandable that a bulk reissue of all passes may take slightly longer.