Another year of concessionary travel for the over 60s
7 November 2012
Hampshire County Council has agreed to fund additional enhancements to the national concessionary travel scheme for the over 60s in the 2013-2014 financial year.
The scheme will provide free bus travel for eligible older people and an enhanced free bus travel scheme for those aged five years and over who are disabled. The eligibility criteria for an older person's pass is:
- those born before 6 April 1950 are eligible on their 60th birthday
- those born after 5 April 1950, the eligible age for both women and men is the state pensionable age of a woman.
From 1 April 2013, those aged over 60, and are eligible, will be entitled to free bus travel from 9.00am to 11pm, Monday to Friday, and at any time at the weekend.
Those over five years of age, who meet the criteria for a disabled pass, will be eligible for free bus travel all day without time restriction, together with a companion pass where they are unable to travel alone due to their disability. They will also be entitled to half fare travel on defined community transport schemes. Those who meet the criteria for a disabled persons' pass have the option, as an alternative to the pass, to have vouchers (to the value of £32) for use on defined community transport schemes, voluntary car schemes and participating taxis.
The cost to provide this scheme which, together with passenger travel costs, includes administration and the cost of passes and their distribution, has been calculated at £13 million for the current year .
Councillor Kendal, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Environment and Transport, commented:
"There is still uncertainty about future funding from the Government for the national statutory scheme but we are required by law to publish Hampshire's draft concessionary travel scheme by 1 December. I have considered the proposals carefully in the context of the overall budget for passenger transport and taking into account the take up of the scheme this year. I am also mindful that the Government has stated previously that it expected to achieve 12% efficiency savings by transferring the concessionary fares service to county councils, from the district authorities.
"Any scheme the County Council considers for Hampshire residents must be consistent across the county so that it is fair to all and this has to be balanced with the available budget to provide a scheme. On behalf of the County Council I am pleased that we will be able to maintain the same level of support for a further year."
240,000 people in Hampshire have a bus pass or concessionary vouchers and, in 2011/12 12,260,000 bus or community transport journeys were made by people using concessionary travel.