Mr Graham Stuart – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Transport

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Mr Graham Stuart on 2014-03-18.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the level of cross-subsidy between fare paying passengers and those using the Concessionary Travel Scheme (a) generally and (b) in rural areas.

Stephen Hammond

Concessionary travel schemes are considered to be public service obligations.

Legislation requires bus operators to accept statutory concessionary bus pass holders for free travel on off-peak journeys within England, and are reimbursed for doing so. Bus operators may not solicit or accept payment for such journeys.

Reimbursement is provided on the basis that operators are “no better and no worse off” for carrying concessionary pass holders, and we therefore do not believe this to constitute a subsidy.

The Department publishes guidance to help authorities calculate appropriate reimbursement rates. We are unaware of any cross-subsidy between fare paying and concessionary pass holding passengers occurring in rural areas or elsewhere.