Publication - FOI/EIR release

Free bus passes for over 60s: FOI release

Published: 15 Oct 2018

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
15 Oct 2018
Free bus passes for over 60s: FOI release

FOI reference: FOI/18/02607
Date received: 21 September 2018
Date responded: 4 October 2018

Information requested

1. What is the yearly cost to the Scottish Government of free bus passes for people over the age of 60 in the Edinburgh area?
2. What is the yearly cost to the Scottish Government of free bus passes for people over the age of 60 in Scotland?
3. What is the yearly cost, if any, to the Scottish Government of the discounts for a Senior Railcard in Scotland?

Response

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, the information you have asked for is, unfortunately not held by the Scottish Government in the format that you have requested. The Scotland-wide Free Bus Travel for Older and Disabled People Scheme provides free bus travel to eligible cardholders who are aged over 60 or who have a disability, across all 32 local authority areas.

The financial information held by the Scottish Government in relation to this scheme is retained based on the concession scheme in its entirety and often cannot be broken down by individual local authority area or card category.

Please see below a response to each of your questions:

1. The yearly cost of free bus passes for cardholders aged over 60 within the Edinburgh area cannot be determined at this time. The current IT system used for reimbursing transport operators does not allow us to provide the level of detail you are looking for. We are currently implementing a new reimbursement system which will provide advanced reporting capabilities, therefore the specific information you have requested should hopefully be available in the near future.

2. The yearly cost of free bus passes for cardholders aged over 60 in Scotland, cannot be confirmed at this time as the financial reports are based on the scheme as a whole.
I can confirm however that the concessionary travel bus scheme which includes both older and disabled cardholders, cost the Scottish Government £194.9m for the financial year 2017/18.

3. The Scottish Government does not hold any information in relation to Senior Railcards. Under the terms of the Franchise Agreement, ScotRail is required to participate in the National Railcard schemes including the Senior Railcard. The terms and conditions of these schemes are set by National Rail and changes to price and minimum fare levels are a matter for National Rail themselves. As this is a UK wide scheme, Scottish Ministers do not have the authority to vary the terms determined by National Rail.

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference 

Central Enquiry Unit 
Email: CEU
Phone: 0300 244 4000  

The Scottish Government 
St Andrew's House 
Regent Road 
Edinburgh 
EH1 3DG