§ Mr. Brandon-Bravo
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he has any plans to introduce legislation removing from local authorities the right to determine the specific type of public transport concessionary pass scheme which they operate within their areas; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. David Mitchell
The Transport Bill published on 31 January contains no such provision; nor does my right hon. Friend intend to seek one. Local authorities will continue to have discretion to choose the form of 437W concessionary schemes best suited to their area. As the White Paper made clear, the Government's intention is to make only two changes to the current arrangements; to ensure that all operators can participate, and to make payments to operators reflect the cost of the concessions, thus avoiding concealed subsidy to bus services generally.