§ Mr. Dismore
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement about help available to pensioners with long-distance coach travel. 
§ Mr. Jamieson
We are committed to the early introduction of a scheme under which the operators of scheduled long-distance coach services would offer those aged over 60, and disabled people, concessionary half-fares in return for the services becoming eligible for Bus Service Operators Grants from my Department. We are currently pursuing clearance of this proposal under European Union State Aid rules, and are in discussion with coach operators on the details of the scheme's introduction. We aim to introduce the scheme as soon as possible in 2003–04.