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Concessionary Bus Travel Act 2007
UK Government Coat of Arms
United Kingdom Parliament
Long title: An Act to make provision about travel concessions; and for connected purposes.
Statute book chapter: 2007 c. 29
Introduced by: Lord Davies Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard and Government Deputy Chief Whip, 27 November 2006[1]
Territorial extent: England and Wales[2]
Dates
Date of Royal Assent: 19 July 2007
Commencement: For certain preliminary planning and guidance purposes: 17th October 2007. In full: 1st April 2008[3]
Repeal date:
Other legislation
Amendments:
Related legislation:
Repealing legislation:
Status: Not fully in force
History of passage through Parliament
Text of statute as originally enacted
Official text of the statute as amended and in force today within the United Kingdom, from the UK Statute Law Database

The Concessionary Bus Travel Act is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which entitles all English people who are either disabled or over the age of 60 to free travel on local buses at off-peak times anywhere within England (transport being a devolved matter and therefore within the purview of the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and Northern Ireland Assembly); previously, free travel had only been available within the recipient's local authority area.[4]

Funding

Under the scheme, bus companies are compensated by local authorities for carrying passholders, and the authorities in turn receive funding from central Government to offset the cost, in the form of a special grant under s.88B of the Local Government Finance Act 1988[5], for which a total of £212 million has been allocated. This is distributed using a funding formula on the basis of four factors (eligible population, bus patronage, overnight visitors and retail floor space),[6] in the following proportions:

Proportion
Eligible population 5.1%
Bus patronage 41%
Overnight visitors 15.4%
Retail floor space 38.5%

The funding allocated by Government was criticised by some[7][8] as inadequate, and some local authorities anticipate budget shortfalls as a result.[9] The government defended its decision not to compensate local authorities on the basis of actual costs incurred on the grounds that "such an approach would mean that the central government would hold all the financial risks but have no commensurate control of how the risks are managed".[6]

Passage through Parliament

As is common for uncontroversial measures, the Bill was introduced in the House of Lords, where it received cross-party support.[10] It received third reading from the Lords on 5 February 2006, and from the Commons on 28 June, with minor amendments, including one allowing the Government to make payments from public funds to fund the scheme, since money bills cannot be started in the Lords. These amendments were agreed to on 5 July, and the Bill received Royal Assent on 19 July. Under the commencement order, the Bill entered into force to allow the making of some regulations by the Secretary of State, and for some other preliminary purposes, on 17 October 2007, and in full on 1 April 2008.

References


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