HC Deb 19 May 2004 vol 421 c997W
Brian White

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the use of concessionary bus fares for older people in England and Wales; and what plans he has for future changes. [173262]

Mr. McNulty

The National Travel Survey provides the following information on the use of concessionary bus fares for women aged 60 or over and men aged 65 or over in England and Wales.

Take-up rate of

those with scheme available1


Trips per person per

year, where main

mode is bus, using

concessionary fares2

1991–93 58 69
1996–98 50 53
1999–2001 47 42
2002 57 61
1 The percentage of older people taking up their entitlement to a travel pass allowing them to claim concessionary fares
2 In the National Travel Survey, a trip is a one-way course of travel having a single main purpose.

We have no plans to change the present arrangements for concessionary travel for older people. The current statutory minimum requirement for concessionary travel in England introduced in 2001 ensures half fares for older and disabled people on local buses, with no charge for the pass. From April 2003, we have extended concessionary travel schemes to men aged 60–64, bringing them into line with women of the same age. Local authorities may make more generous provision, including free travel, at their discretion.