Less funding, but free travel stays

LINCOLNSHIRE bus pass holders will still be able to travel for free before 9.30am anywhere in Lincolnshire, the county council has pledged, as it prepares to take up the Concessionary Fares scheme with reduced funding.

Contrary to previous media reports, post-9.30am travel also remains free.

Following a Department for Transport consultation, the Government has decreed that from next year, upper tier authorities will assume administrative responsibility for bus passes.

This means that, from April 1 2011, the county council will become the Concessionary Fares Authority for Lincolnshire, a role currently held by district councils.

In the Comprehensive Spending Review, the Government confirmed its intention to seek savings on the scheme, thought to be around £120m.

Coun William Webb, portfolio holder for highways and traffic, said: “As we prepare to take this scheme on, there will inevitably be changes from the current system, but we’re determined to continue providing an excellent service for all bus pass holders.

“We know that being able to use the passes before 9.30am is very important to people and are pleased to announce that we’ve been able to maintain this as part of the new arrangements.”