Closed petition Extend the older person's bus pass to cover free train travel

We want the Government to extend the older person's bus pass so that once you reach the State Pension age you are entitled to free bus and train travel across the whole country.

More details

Pensioners can become isolated and stuck at home after retirement, with many not being able to afford the high cost of train travel. A change to extend the older person's pass for bus travel to cover train travel would allow for easier travel across the country, enabling long day trips and other travel, which we believe would greatly enhance their mental wellbeing, by making it easier for them to get out of the house and travel to meet others and visit other places.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

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Government responded

This response was given on 23 August 2023

To help make train journeys more affordable, individuals aged 60 and over are eligible for the Senior Railcard which offers a third off rail travel.

Read the response in full

• The English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) provides free off-peak bus travel to those with eligible disabilities and those of state pension age, currently sixty-six, within England.

• Local concessionary travel costs around £1 billion annually and any changes to the minimum statutory scheme, such as free travel on rail, would therefore need to be carefully considered for their impact on the scheme’s financial sustainability.

• Local authorities in England have the power to go beyond their statutory obligations, such as offering free travel on rail as part of the ENCTS pass.

• Our most recent set of statistics shows that operators in 11 out of 84 travel concession authority areas in England offered some form of discounted rail travel for the older person's concessionary pass.

• The scope of any additional discretionary concessions provided and supported by a local authority is available to journeys originating or ending in the authority’s local area or in the vicinity of the authority's area, unless specific arrangements between neighbouring local authorities have been agreed.

• Any additional discretionary concessions provided to ENCTS pass holders by the local authority is funded from local resources such as Business Rates and residents’ Council Tax and not Central Government.

• To help make train journeys more affordable, individuals aged 60 and over are eligible for the Senior Railcard which offers a third off rail travel. The Senior Railcard costs £30.00 for one year or £70.00 for three years.

• UK taxpayers contributed £31 billion in 2020/21 and 2021/22 to the day-to-day costs of the railway, ensuring stability for staff and avoiding job losses during the pandemic. Even before the pandemic, the government was contributing over £4 billion per annum for day-to-day operations. It is important now to put rail finances on a sustainable footing in a way that is fair to passengers and taxpayers in the challenging economic climate we currently face.

Department for Transport

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