MPs call for integrated ticketing outside London welcomed

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

pteg haswelcomed the House of Commons Transport Select Committee report on ticketing as a valuable spur to ensuring the rest of England benefits from the same kind of integrated, smartcard, ticketing system that Londoners already enjoy.

Chair of pteg, Neil Scales, said:

‘Coming shortly after the Government’s consultation document on bus subsidy reform, this is another powerful contribution to the debate about how we translate growing bus subsidies and modern ticketing technology into giving the passengers what they want – affordable, simple and interchangeable tickets throughout the country.’

With this in mind pteg strongly supports the recommendation that there should be a clearer strategy for moving forward on integrated ticketing.

Neil Scales said:

‘With subsidy for the bus industry now more than £2.5 billion, and smartcards a proven technology, the next step is to build on the national concessionary fares scheme for older and disabled people so that easy to use smartcard travel is opened up to all bus passengers across the country. Oystercard has already transformed the way people perceive and use public transport in London. With a clearer national strategy in place we could bring a similar transformative smartcard effect to public transport in the rest of the country.’

pteg also welcomes other key recommendations of the report, including making sure funding for the national concessionary fares scheme is targeted to ensure the growing costs of this popular scheme are fully met.

Neil Scales said:

‘The Government’s national free off-peak travel for older and disabled people will offer up new worlds of opportunity for millions of people – including for many on low incomes. We’ve been delighted to play our part in making this scheme happen for hundreds of thousands of older and disabled people in our areas. However, the MPs are right to point out that the rising costs of this popular scheme should be fairly and fully met, to ensure that there are no unintended consequences for the local authorities who administer it. We therefore strongly support the Committee’s recommendations that the scheme should continue to be fully funded as usage grows and costs rise, and that there should be a more transparent mechanism for compensating operators for carrying passholders.’

pteg also welcomed the MPs’ recommendations that young people should be next in line for any extensions of the concessionary fares scheme, and that Traffic Commissioners should be given powers to arbitrate on the pricing of multi-operator tickets.

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For more contact Jonathan Bray on 0781 804 1485