£414m Scottish concessions
An investment worth £414m has been pledged by the Scottish Government over the next two years to secure the continuation of nationwide free bus travel for over 60s and people with disabilities. Building on an agreement reached in January 2013, Transport Scotland and Scotland’s bus industry have agreed terms for reimbursing operators for providing concessionary travel from April 2015. The current reimbursement rate is 58.1% of the adult single fare, with a budget of £192m. Based on the agreed formula and recent authoritative forecasts on industry costs and consumer prices, and following technical discussions and agreement with the CPT, the new rates will be 57.1% in 2015/16 and 56.9% in 2016/17. The budgets for each year will be £202m and £212m respectively.
Scottish Transport Minister, Derek Mackay, said, ‘Concessionary travel is a key part of the Scottish Government’s social wage and makes a real difference to many of the 1.2m national entitlement card holders, including our elderly and disabled.’
Director of CPT Scotland, George Mair, said, ‘Today’s agreement signifies the end of a thorough and fact-based look at National Concessionary Travel Scheme reimbursement which should ensure that the budgets for the next two years more closely mirror actual costs. This gives bus operators a welcome degree of certainty and signifies a pathway for future such discussions. We thank Transport Scotland for its constructive and positive approach throughout this process.’