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Districts expect bus fare scheme review

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District councils are expecting a full review next year of the controversial financing of the concessionary bus fares scheme.

The District Councils Sounding Board met local government minister John Healey on Monday, when he asked councils to collect statistics that would demonstrate anomalies.

From April, people aged over 60 will be able to travel free by bus, with the council where they travel picking up the bill.

Councils in coastal resorts and major retail areas expect to be badly hit because they must pay for a high volume of journeys (LGC, 20 December). The government has divided£212m among councils to pay for the scheme over the next three years.

But councils wanted a review after one year, by which time they expect to have evidence of which councils have been unfairly burdened.

Board chair Sharon Taylor (Lab) said: “It was a very useful meeting.”

A Department for Communities & Local Government spokesman said: “[Ministers] will consider all representations received in consultation and announce their conclusions in due course.”

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