Mark decrys delays in processing of national concessionary bus fares scheme

March 25, 2008 5:00 PM
By Mark Hunter

Does my hon. Friend accept that one of the key issues is that the Government have failed to forecast the take-up of the scheme accurately? That is the real crux of the matter. In many places it is manifested by the funding shortfall about which we have heard so much already-not only that, but in areas such as Greater Manchester, which covers my constituency of Cheadle, there is the key problem of the authorities not being able to deal with the applications in time. That has led to lots of constituents telling their MPs that there have been unacceptable delays in the processing of the applications. The Greater Manchester transport authority has now said that it will make the current passes valid for an extra six months, until September this year. Frankly, that will get people from one side of Manchester to the other-not to destinations further afield, although that was one of the principal points of the scheme in the first place.

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