HC Deb 19 April 2000 vol 348 cc486-7W
Mr. Cox

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to encourage the use of concessionary travel passes for retired people which can be used throughout the UK; and if he will make a statement. [119810]

Mr. Hill

Both the train operating companies and the National Express coach company already offer commercial discount cards for nation-wide travel by senior citizens. I would be interested in similar proposals from the bus industry.

The Transport Bill at present before Parliament contains provisions to guarantee that all elderly people will be entitled to at least half-price travel on local buses; the associated bus pass will be free of charge. These measures will bring benefit to many pensioners and will be particularly welcome in areas where at present the local authority offers a less generous concessionary fare scheme, or none at all.

At present schemes often cover only the area of the issuing local authority, but it will remain possible for local authorities to arrange travel outside their own area, as many do.