HC Deb 16 January 1978 vol 942 c11W
Mr. Cohen

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on concessionary fares for elderly and handicapped people.

Mr. William Rodgers

The circular to local authorities forecast in the transport policy White Paper (Cmnd 6836) is being published tomorrow.

The circular advises that in each local authority area there should be adequate arrangements for helping to meet the travel needs of elderly, blind and disabled people. In introducing a new or improved scheme, a local authority should aim to meet about half the cost of the local bus fares that would otherwise be paid in off-peak periods by the concessionaires.

The circular also advises local authorities of the Government's view that all blind and disabled people should normally be entitled to appropriate travel concessions and that authorities should have particular regard to the special needs of blind and disabled people created by their handicaps.

I hope that authorities will now start planning as soon as possible to introduce improved arrangements.