28 March 2009

Concessionary U-turn

The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that, following its investigation into the English concessionary free travel scheme, it believes National Express and Megabus should not have to carry eligable passengers for free along sections of route registered as local-stopping bus services so that Bus Service Operators' Grant (BSOG) can be claimed.

NX are understood to be implementing the DfT's ruling from 1 April and so we infer that the last day for free concessionary travel on its services in England will be this Tuesday. NX claim that 22,500 free journeys have been made in the past year - journeys that they've received reimbursement for, but not as much as if a ticket had been purchased.

Curiously, the DfT has not said whether or not NX et al, who will continue to legitimately register these sections as local-stopping services, will be able to continue to claim BSOG. (GL)