§ Mr. Stephen Ross
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment in the fight of the effects of the latest increase in bus fares on groups such as on children living in rural communities and blind and disabled persons, if he will seek power to enable him to make provisions to give special assistance to such groups.
§ Mr. Carmichael
Many local authorities are already providing bus fare concessions, under discretionary powers, for elderly, blind and disabled people, at an estimated cost of about £60 million in the current financial year. The Government have recognised that neither the expansion of existing concessionary fare schemes, nor the introduction of new schemes, is possible in the present circumstances. As to school transport provided by local education authorities, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science told the 285W House on 14th October that he was in consultation with the local authority associations about new arrangements. In a Written Answer on 29th October, he announced that he had arranged for copies of the consultative document to be placed in the Library of the House.—[Vol. 898, c. 495–501.]