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Volume 696: debated on Wednesday 21 November 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have agreed arrangements with the Scottish Executive, the Welsh Assembly and Transport for London for mutual recognition of passes issued under the pensioners concessionary bus travel scheme. [HL283]

Concessionary travel is a devolved policy area and the devolved Administrations have their own arrangements in place.

From 1 April 2008, people aged 60 and over and eligible disabled people in England will be entitled to free off-peak local bus travel anywhere in England, not just within their local area as at present. This is provided for in the Concessionary Bus Travel Act 2007.

The Act contains a power to allow, via future secondary legislation, for the possibility of mutual recognition of bus passes across the UK. The Department for Transport had initial discussions with the devolved Administrations last year about the proposal and all indicated support for inclusion of this power. However, it was also acknowledged that we would need to discuss it further and work together to resolve various technical and resource issues before mutual recognition could be pursued in practice.