Bus Services: Homelessness

Department for Transport written question – answered am ar 23 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Rebecca Long-Bailey Rebecca Long-Bailey Llafur, Salford and Eccles

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of providing free bus passes for homeless (a) adults and (b) children.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Department for Transport has made no such assessment. The English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) provides free off-peak bus travel to those with eligible disabilities and those of state pension age, currently sixty-six, and was set up primarily to help older and disabled people. ENCTS costs around £1 billion annually and any changes to the minimum statutory scheme would need to be carefully considered for their impact on the scheme’s financial sustainability.

Local authorities in England have the power to go beyond their statutory obligations and extend free bus travel to other groups that are eligible under ENCTS, which includes children under the age of 16 and 16-18 year olds in full time education. However, these discretionary concessions are not funded by central government but by local authorities from local resources, such as council tax. Since 2010/11, almost all of the travel concession authorities in England have offered some form of discretionary concession. Bus operators are also able to provide discretionary concessions on a commercial basis.

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