Public Transport Demand for Concessionary Travel - UK Experience

Public Transport Demand for Concessionary Travel - UK Experience


J Baggaley, E Hill, A Last, MVA, UK



In most parts of the UK, reduced price or free travel has been available to elderly bus passengers and some other selected groups for many years, although with considerable variation from area to area. In the last few years, national standards have been imposed, but whereas in England this was through a statutory minimum half-fare scheme, in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, free concessionary travel has been made available. Ironically, as travel for the elderly has been made cheaper elsewhere, some of the larger English schemes have become less generous, with increases in concessionary fares.

There has been keen interest in the impact of these changes on demand, because in Great Britain (outside London) bus services are provided by private operators, who are supposed to be compensated for providing concessionary fares on the basis that they are ?no better off and no worse off?. MVA has been involved in advising both scheme promoters and operators in all parts of the United Kingdom, and has been carrying out research to monitor and interpret the effects of the introduction of free travel I different areas.

This paper will report report on the available evidence of the impact of these changes on the demand for bus travel by the elderly and other concessionary groups.


Association for European Transport