Safer, Greener and Cleaner Spaces Cabinet Member – Minutes – 30 November 2018 (Urgt)

5 (5) CONCESSIONARY FARES 2019/20 – PUBLICATION OF DRAFT SCHEME – The Director: Operations submitted an urgent report seeking approval for a ‘Draft Scheme’ for concessionary fares reimbursement.

The council, as a travel concession authority, had a duty to provide free travel for older people and people with disabilities between 9.30am and 11.00pm, Monday to Friday and all day at weekends and bank holidays.  This was part of the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS).  In addition to the statutory scheme, the council also provided the following discretionary enhancements for North Lincolnshire residents:

• Free travel on local bus services before 9.30am and after 11.00pm Monday to Fridays;
• Free or discounted local train travel; and
• Free bus travel or discounted local rail travel for companions of disabled people who cannot use buses or trains on their own.

This enhanced provision would continue for 2019-20.  Bus operators were reimbursed for concession passengers that travelled on local registered bus services.

With effect from 2017/18, the council had moved to a voluntary capped fund arrangement with bus operators. The Department for Transport’s reimbursement calculator was used as the basis for negotiations. It was proposed to continue with this methodology.

Smaller operators with infrequent services (e.g. once per week) and community transport providers would have simpler arrangements which was permitted in the guidance.

The council was required by law requires to issue passes to eligible residents. Bus operators were reimbursed for carrying concessionary passholders, on a “no better off and no worse off” basis.

The matter was urgent due to timescales for publication of the scheme.  In line with Department for Transport guidance which included a timetable for the publication of the draft and final schemes, the draft scheme must be published by 1 December 2018.

Resolved – (a) That the ‘Draft Scheme’ for concessionary fares reimbursement be approved, and (b) that consideration be given as to whether any aspects of the scheme be amended before publication of the final scheme in early March 2019.