Bus pass scheme to stay

A COUNCIL will continue to take part in a free bus scheme for concessions after councillors rubber-stamped proposals.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s cabinet committee agreed plans to continue in the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) which sees free concessionary travel after 9.30am.

The cabinet also agreed for the council to continue to charge a nominal 30p fare for journeys before 9.30am.

It was also agreed that charges for replacement passes will remain at £5.

The Government’s national scheme allows concessionary passengers to travel anywhere in the country off-peak after 9.30am.

The local authorities then re-imburse the bus companies for the cost of travel incurred by passengers with concessionary passes.

A report by Dave Stubbs, director of regeneration and neighbourhoods, said a system of fixed payments for implementing the ENCTS had not yet been agreed between the Tees Valley Authorities and all the bus operators for the next financial year.

Mr Stubbs added: “In Hartlepool payments of about £2.1m have been provisionally been agreed for this period.”

The confidential detailed financial analysis have not been revealed.