Changes to Concessionary Bus Travel in Bedford
Changes have been agreed to discount travel in
Bedford Borough for pensioners and qualifying disabled people.
The English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) allows
pass holders to travel free of charge on bus journeys where the
journey commences between 9.30am and 11.00pm Monday to Friday or
anytime on weekends or bank holidays. This scheme is still in place
in the borough and those entitled to use the service will still
have access to these benefits.
However, as well as the national scheme Bedford Borough Council has
also subsidised pass holders' travel to allow them to use buses for
free at any time on journeys within the borough. It is to this
additional allowance that will be subject to changes in the coming
Amendments to the discretionary benefits offered by the Council
mean that ENCTS pass holders travelling before 9.30am on weekdays
will now pay a contribution of £1 per journey toward the cost of
their journey as of 1st February 2017.
The Council is required to reimburse bus operators for lost income
because pass holders travel free of charge and the current cost to
the Council is in the region of £2.7 million a year. It is
anticipated that these new changes will reduce the Council's costs
by an estimated £100,000 per year whilst still providing
significantly discounted fares for ENCTS pass holders.
Portfolio holder for Finance, Councillor
Michael Headley said: "Punishing government cuts have created a
full-blown funding crisis for local services and tough decisions
are now unavoidable. However, unlike a number of other local
authorities Bedford Borough Council is choosing to support bus
travel for pensioners and disabled people with a discount scheme
that exceeds the national requirements."
Who is affected?
Bedford Borough residents who have an English
National Concessionary Travel pass (pensioners and qualifying
Which bus journeys are
Only journeys on weekdays that are wholly
within Bedford Borough and start before 9.30am or after 11.00pm are
affected. Travel at other times will continue to be free for
What are the changes?
Pass holders will be able to travel on most of
these journeys for a fare of £1.00 per journey before 9.30am or
The full fare will be charged on X5 services
and on journeys beyond the Bedford Borough boundary.
Are there any exceptions?
Yes, on routes where there is only one morning
service (at present this applies to route 26 from Knotting,
Melchbourne and Yelden) and on community transport services. Travel
on these services will be free for journeys within the Borough and
for a fare of £1.00 for journeys beyond the Borough
Do companions of a disabled pass
holder have to pay?
No. A companion of a disabled person
with a companion pass can travel free at anytime within Bedford
Is the Door to Door service
No. The fare for Door to Door services
will continue to be free for journeys within the Borough (however,
membership and booking fees are charged by the service