Highways & Neighbourhoods Cabinet Member – Minutes – 29 November 2012

122     (29) PUBLIC TRANSPORT DRAFT CONCESSIONARY FARE SCHEME 2013/14The Director of Places submitted an urgent reportseeking approval for the Public Transport Draft Concessionary Fare Scheme 2013/14.

By law, the council must provide free travel on local buses for older people and people with disabilities.  Bus operators must also be reimbursed for the money they lose providing free travel services.

The money that operators received depended on how much they would get if all passengers paid a fare.  It was difficult to estimate this because free travel encouraged more journeys, however a method for calculating this had been recommended by the Department of Transport, although the council was not compelled to use it.

It was explained that the council operated a “fixed pot” scheme.  The money payable to operators was agreed in advance, both sides then knew what to expect during the financial year.  If commercial services ceased or contracts changed hands the sum of money would then be adjusted.  The fixed pot scheme had worked well in 2012/13 and it was proposed that this be continued again in 2013/14.  The report provided further details of the proposed draft scheme and a draft scheme statement was appended to the report.

The matter was urgent because of the requirement to publish a scheme statement by 1 December 2012 in order for it to take effect on 1 April 2013.

Resolved – (a) That the Public Transport Draft Concessionary Fare Scheme for 2013/14 be approved, and    (b) that a final scheme statement be confirmed following the annual budget meeting of the Council in February 2013.