Concessionary Travel Schemes

Concessionary Travel Consultation 2019

This consultation opened Tuesday 16 July 2019 and closes at midday on Tuesday 8 October 2019.

Please take time to read the background information provided here to help with your responses. We will consider what you tell us both carefully and fully.

Thank you for your assistance.

Background to the consultation

English National Concessionary Travel Scheme

The mandatory English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) was introduced by central government in April 2008 and provides free off-peak local bus travel to eligible older and disabled people anywhere in England. There are seven applicable categories of disability covered by the concession the details of which can be found on our service page www.iow.gov.uk/concessionarytravel

The off-peak period is determined as anytime Saturday, Sunday or bank holidays and between 9.30am and 11pm on any other day.

This concession is administered by travel concession authorities (TCAs) which include the Isle of Wight Council as a unitary authority. TCAs must issue a travel concession permit to an eligible person whose sole or principal residence is in the authority’s area.

In addition to the mandatory bus concession TCAs may offer discretionary travel schemes.

Current discretional enhancements linked to the ENCTS and offered by the Isle of Wight Council are as follows:

  • Free travel on local bus services at any time on the Island for residents with an ENCTS pass issued on the grounds of disability.
  • Free travel on Islandline services at any time for residents with an ENCTS pass issued on the grounds of disability.

In 2010, the council removed the additional discretionary enhancements for Island residents who qualified by age but maintained the provision for those with a disability.

New Islander Card – Local Concessionary Travel Scheme

In addition to the English national scheme, the Isle of Wight Council agreed to offer two further discretional concessions through the New Islander Card scheme to Island residents from 2008.

The New Islander Card covers two separate concessions as detailed below:

  • Free travel at any time on local bus services on the Island for residents who have a ‘severe and enduring’ mental health problem.
  • Free travel at any time on local bus services for a travelling companion of a local resident who already holds either an ENCTS pass issued on the grounds of a disability or a New Islander Card issued on the grounds of mental health.

For both New Islander Card concessions, free travel on Islandline services at any time is also available.

The latest figures show that 31,471 older people and 3,721 qualifying disabled people resident on the Island benefit under the mandatory national scheme of free travel on buses between 9.30am and 11pm.

A total of 1,543 Island residents currently hold a New Islander Card.

Concessionary travel schemes cost the Isle of Wight Council £4.72 million in 2017/18, including £452,000 for all the discretional elements.

The Isle of Wight Council is the only local authority in the south east and one of only five of the 89 outside London, which provides additional concessions above the statutory eligibility criteria.

As an additional discretion anyone who holds a New Islander Card or an English National concessionary travel pass, issued on the grounds of a disability, may travel on the Cowes Floating Bridge as a foot passenger for free.

Why are we consulting?

To meet budgetary pressures now and in future years, Full Council agreed in February 2018 to remove the remaining discretional concessionary travel enhancements and move to the mandatory English National Concessionary Travel scheme. This would bring the local offer in line with the majority of other local authorities.

However it has now been agreed that the intention is to retain a concession for travelling companions, though this may not be through the existing New Islander Card Scheme.

Ahead of making any final decisions about the future of funding for concessionary bus travel on the Island we want to seek your views and understand the impact of our proposals.

This consultation questionnaire asks you a series of questions about the way you and others use bus services on the Isle of Wight and how you and others may be affected by the proposals we are making.

We will analyse all the responses we receive and present the analysis to members of the council’s Cabinet later this year when they will make final decisions about concessionary bus travel.

We would like the consultation to be as wide as possible and invite responses from all interested parties including the voluntary sector, advocates and representative groups.

We will also be consulting directly with a number of key stakeholder organisations in respect of the proposals. 

 

There is an online questionnaire. To provide your response, please visit:  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ConcessionaryTravelSchemeConsultation 

PDF versions of the questionnaire are available on request, to be returned to the Isle of Wight Council, Transport Service, County Hall, High Street, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 1UD

If you require the survey in another format such as Easy Read or large print, please call us on (01983) 823780 (Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm).

 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

May I still use my concessionary bus pass during the consultation period?

  • Yes, both English National and New Islander Card concessionary passes issued by the Isle of Wight Council can be used as normal until a final decision has been reached following the outcome of the consultation.

I am resident on the Island and I currently hold an English National Concessionary bus pass issued on the ground of age, will the proposals effect my free travel?

  • No, as per the current concession you will be able to travel for free anytime Saturday, Sunday or bank holidays and between 9.30am and 11pm on any other day

Can I apply for a concessionary bus pass during the consultation period?

  • Yes, applications for both English National and New Islander Card concessionary passes will be processed as normal during the consultation period and until a final decision has been reached following the outcome of the consultation.

I currently hold a New Islander Card on the grounds of a ‘severe and enduring’ mental health problem, would I be entitled to an English National Concessionary Travel pass on the grounds of a disability?

  • You are not automatically entitled, though you may apply. It is recommended that you consider all of the guidance for the seven categories of disability covered by the English National scheme available on the service web page www.iow.gov.uk/concessionarytravel and application form, before applying.

I require a travelling companion to access public transport, would the free travel for this person end if the proposals are agreed?

  • No definitive decision has been made in respect of free travel for travelling companions, as this is subject to the outcome of consultation. Though the Cabinet has expressed its desire to retain a concession for travelling companions as an enhancement to the English National scheme.

When is a final decision likely to be made and will changes be immediate from this date?

  • The aim is to have all of the results of the consultation analysed and a Cabinet report drafted for approval, for final decision to be made by 1 November 2019. This would be followed by a notice period of two months, with changes being effective from 1 January 2020.

I currently hold an English National Concessionary bus pass issued on the grounds of a disability, following the outcome of the consultation when would I be able to travel free on the Isle of Wight?

  • Should the full proposals become adopted, you would be able to travel for free anytime Saturday, Sunday or bank holidays and between 9.30am and 11pm on any other day.

I currently hold a concessionary travel pass which I can use on the Cowes Floating Bridge to travel for free, following the outcome of the consultation would this concession remain?

  • If you hold an English National Concessionary Bus Pass issued on the grounds of a disability, you would still be able to travel for free as this is not being considered within this consultation. However, should the full proposals become adopted, the New Islander Card scheme would cease and all associated concessions following the notice period.

Are you able to summarise the changes proposed?

  • Yes, the table below outlines the differences between concessionary travel currently offered by the Isle of Wight Council and in the event that all discretional travel is removed: 

 

 

Current

Proposed

Pass Type

Bus*

Rail*

Bus*

Rail*

Off peak

Peak

Off peak

Peak

Off peak

Peak

Off peak

Peak

ENCBP (age-related) - Island-issued

Yes

No

No

No

Yes

No

No

No

ENCBP (disability-related) - Island-issued

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

ENCBP (age-related) - not Island-issued

Yes

No

No

No

Yes

No

No

No

ENCBP (disability-related) - not Island-issued

Yes

No

No

No

Yes

No

No

No

New Island Card- Gold (Mental Health)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

New Island Card - Silver (Travelling Companion)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No