Concessionary Fares Scheme

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27 Oct 2011

Many concerned constituents have contacted me about the Government’s reduction in funding for the concessionary bus fares scheme for older people and the decision to remove the scheme from coach travel.

Changes to the way local authorities receive funding for concessionary bus passes will mean £223 million is being cut from the concessionary fares scheme. As a result, pensioners are finding additional restrictions on when they are able to use their pass and bus services are being axed as a result of the reduction in subsidy.

Even more disgraceful is the Government’s decision to end the concessionary fares scheme on coaches for pensioners and disabled people. This means that thousands of people who use them as their only means of going on holiday or seeing relatives will have this option taken away.

I have written to the Department for Transport to ask them to work with the coach industry to fully understand and mitigate the impact of the scheme’s withdrawal.

I hope that the Government will think again about this damaging cut which threatens to price thousands of older and disabled people off coaches.