§ Mr. Baker
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions from what date his Department will require local authorities to provide older people with a free bus pass allowing them to purchase bus tickets for no more than half-price; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Hill
The requirement to offer at least half-fares on buses to pensioners and disabled people will come into effect from 1 April 2001 (London) or 1 June 2001 (rest of England). The appropriate Commencement Order was made on 7 December. We are in touch with local authorities and the bus industry about the implementation of the mandatory scheme, and are at present consulting about the terms of Guidance.