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Bus Services: Concessions

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 106643, tabled on 18 January 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of bringing England in line with the rest of the United Kingdom by introducing free off-peak bus travel for over-60s.

Answered on

21 January 2022

Concessionary travel is a devolved policy area and the administrative arrangements for the schemes in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are entirely separate.

Funding the concessionary bus pass costs around £1 billion annually, so any changes, such as extending free bus travel to those who are not yet eligible would have an impact on the scheme’s financial sustainability. In England, the age of eligibility for the concessionary bus pass is linked to the state pension age. This addresses the anomalous position of non-disabled, working age citizens receiving free bus buses, which in turn supports the financial sustainability of the scheme. There are no current plans to change the concessionary bus travel age of eligibility in England. However, concessionary travel legislation gives local authorities the flexibility to offer local travel concessions, such as free or discounted travel to those who are not yet eligible for the bus pass, if they choose to do so.

Named day
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