This Public Transport Services and Concessionary Bus Travel review is now closed. The responses have been considered and the proposals revised.
The changes we have to make are not going to be easy. We would like to find out what you think about our proposals. Please let us know what their impact might be on you.
We are considering a number of options, which we hope will help us to reach our targets while still maintaining transport services. These options should help us to avoid cutting bus services by:
National Bus Pass Scheme
By law, we must provide a National Bus Pass to people of eligible age and people with eligible disabilities. The pass provides free travel on all local bus services after 9.30am Monday to Friday and any time at weekends and Bank Holidays. We cannot take away this statutory provision.
In the past, we have added extra local elements to the National Bus Pass Scheme. If we stopped providing these extras, it would save up to £47,500 a year.
We currently allow free travel for National Bus Pass holders before the statutory start time of 9.30am, when there is no other bus before 11.00am. This allowance costs us more money. We propose to allow free travel before 9.30am, only when there is no other bus before 11.30am instead of 11.00am. This would save £15,000 a year. We would still allow free travel for National Bus Pass holders where the only bus of the day goes before 9.30am. To comply with National Bus Pass legislation, we are not allowed to encourage pass holders to make any payment on journeys where the bus pass applies.
If someone loses their bus pass, we may charge for a replacement. The current charge is £8. We propose £10, saving us £4,000 a year. This charge is in line with the cost of administering replacement passes and is what many other councils charge. We cannot charge more than it costs to replace the pass. We currently replace nearly 2,000 lost passes per year. Do you think this increase is reasonable?
Students over the age of sixteen are not automatically entitled to free transport to college. We offer a student travel pass for £500 a year (reduced to £470 if paid in one lump sum) to eligible students. The pass covers some of the cost of travelling to college. Because of past competition between bus companies, weekly passes purchased throughout the college year on Devon County Council funded bus services in northern Devon, totals only £396 a year. We are proposing that on subsidised bus services, everyone should pay £500. This could save us £40,000 in 2014/15.