asked Her Majesty's Government:
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bassam of Brighton on 21 November (WA 74), how many local authorities have made representations to the Department for Transport about the insufficiency of funding for concessionary bus travel. [HL531]
Out of the 336 representations received, 34 said they did not have enough funding available. The Department for Transport is confident that the existing statutory minimum—free off-peak bus travel for older and disabled people in their local authority area—is sufficiently funded in aggregate. Local authorities were fully consulted on how the extra funding—£350 million for 2006-07 and £367.5 million for 2007-08—would be distributed as part of the local government finance settlement consultation.
We are confident that the extra funding for the national bus concession will be sufficient in aggregate as it is based on generous assumptions about the probable cost impact of the new concession. The department's consultation on the formula basis for the distribution of the special grant closed on 23 November. A summary of the responses will be published in due course.