Is Pensioner free travel forcing up prices?

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by philthetube, 10 Feb 2017.

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  1. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    Yep, and that was even the case in the rose tinted uplands of pre-deregulation

    Essentially, that was how National Transport Tokens worked.
     
  2. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    Housing Benefit varies according to your situation and is paid to the claimant or direct to the landlord. What it isn't is a blank cheque.

    I don't see anyone talking of the government requiring to take on housing stock from the private sector.
     
  3. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    Indeed - I appreciate Radamfi's ideological bent and wide eyed view of the world. However, it is, as I intimated before, usually predicated by an ideologically held view and then supporting that answer via a selective interpretation of the facts.

    Not quite alternative facts, just selected ones.
     
  4. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    The pre-deregulation situation was not ideal and so privatisation and competitive tendering would surely have happened by now given that privatisation has become the fashion for most public services. Had deregulation not happened instead, a policy of privatisation and tendering would be considered very right-wing. Nobody calls rail privatisation a form of socialism.
     
  5. RT4038

    RT4038 Member

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    No doubt you are right that the start of 'price hiking' pre-dates the nationwide concessionary fare scheme - it probably started in the 1960s when off-peak traffic started to fall off alarmingly, through the 1970s with massive general inflation and rising expectations of crew wages, reductions of subsidies in the 1980s, and increasing regulation (inter alia H&S, DDA, Drivers CPC, concessionary fares scheme etc etc) since then. I think it true to say that all government financial interventions cause distortions in the market (be it housing benefit, tax policy, concessionary fares schemes) and undoubtedly ordinary adult bus fares are higher now because of the ENCTS scheme. However, this is not the only cause!
     
  6. Marc

    Marc Member

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    i refer to the calculator mechanism published by the dft which is the basis for the english scheme. how did you dream yours up?
     
  7. graham11

    graham11 Member

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    I was told by a driver on the Oswestry to Shrewsbury route ( route 70 ) that Arrive in that area received a fixed sum for every free travel .
    This was why when I got on the driver didn`t ask the destination but just issued a ticket , the destination not recorded.

    He said that the bus company received 60p for each traveller .

    If this is the case then surely if the bus has lots of 60p fares this is better than having none .
    The maths is simple :
    Say 10 passengers at 60p = £6.00
    0 passengers at 60p == £ 0
    People who claim that if pensioners were not given the subsidy the bus company would be better off !

    The problem is most of the customers wouldn`t go at all and the company wouldn`t even get the many 60p s.

    Is my logic correct,

    Graham
     
  8. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    The problem is, if the figure of 60p per passenger is correct, that even if the bus was full it would be running at a loss.. assuming that it is a single deck that gives a capacity of approx 60 passengers.. 60x £0.60= £36.00 Oswestry- Shrewsbury direct is 19.5 miles so bus will take approx 1hr... that's £9-£10 driver costs... then there is 2 gallons of fuel... another £9... that's before depreciation of vehicle, wear and tear, contribution to fixed costs... it all adds up very quickly... in short the scheme is underfunded...

    There was also the clever idea in Wales whereby the WA capped the amount available.... said to the operators that once the money ran out they would lower the percentage paid... as I have asked before... where else in industry are you forced to provide a service (in this case free travel) and then be told how much you are to receive WITHOUT NEGOTIATION for providing that service?
     
  9. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Regulation and new legislation interferes with private business all the time. If a business doesn't like a new rule they are free to stop offering a particular service or product or close the business down altogether. Bus companies are free to deregister their bus services at any time with 56 days notice.
     
  10. graham11

    graham11 Member

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    Teflon Lettuce.

    I can see your argument about the bus losing money if full of 60p fares. But if the pensioners were not on board then the company wouldn`t even get the £36 and the seats wouldn`t be full of full price passengers .
    And remember the bus will be taking it`s journey ,with it`s costs whether there are any passengers or not.

    Graham
     
  11. Harpers Tate

    Harpers Tate Member

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    I don't think 60p can be correct. The figure in this area in the brief period of time when the first "free" travel (which at the time was purely in a local area, not nationally, which dates it to just pre 2008) was introduced was something like 80p. It seems unlikely that it has reduced, and equally unlikely that it's substantially less in one area vs. another. Based on inflation adjusting that 80p, I'd have to estimate £1 or thereabouts.
     
  12. me123

    me123 Established Member

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    ^ But to what extent does the subsiding of OAP fares impact on the whole network?

    I find a lot of bus routes are geared towards the free pensioner travel market, to a point it makes the service unattractive to other users. At present, I have a bus route from my front door to my place of work, but with low frequencies and restrictive journey times I am unable to use it. For a start, the first journey gets into my work 24 minutes after I'm meant to start, and the last bus back leaves 15 minutes before my shift finishes! And this has been quite common on many bus routes I've tried to use - it's often impossible to work it around many reasonable commutes (certainly outwith big cities).

    I would hypothesise that the bus companies are running the routes primarily to serve the OAP market, which is where they make all their money, at the expense of younger passengers, and as a result the services become more centred on this market (which is a natural progression). There's plenty of bus routes that exist purely to ferry old ladies to the supermarket/shops, but they don't run at times to allow the employees to get to work! As such, the OAP market gets bigger, and buses become an increasing irrelevance for those of us outwith major cities. I often post that I really have tried to commute on buses (really, I have) but I am simply unable to do so.

    It also leaves bus companies in the position that they rely on the pensioners, to the point that their business would collapse if they couldn't provide subsidised travel (IIRC, a company in Airdrie had their bus pass privileges withdrawn because of abuse, and they shut down pretty much overnight).

    Graham's absolutely right. The 60p fares (or whatever indicative number you choose) may not be making the bus companies a lot of money, but we are now in a position that they are usually the main revenue stream for bus companies, and withdrawing them will not see fare paying passengers take up the slack.
     
  13. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    In my area some public bus routes only operate with vehicles which are required for school/college runs at the relevant times of the day so it's possibly school routes are more lucrative than running a pre-09:00 service on certain routes. If not why don't the operator give up the school/college services?
     
  14. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    Any figure quoted, 60p or anything else, is only relevant to that area/council at best. It varies all over England and is based on a specific formula laid down.

    In many areas it has most definitely reduced over recent times.
     
  15. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    Litigation should never be entered into lightly, but I believe Stagecoach South Wales did the bus industry a disfavour by withdrawing their court case against the WA before a ruling could be determined as to the legality of what the WA were doing - Stagecoach were apparently content to be fobbed off with a better percentage that may not have been available to other operators. Like the wheelchair issue, sometimes these things do need robust testing in the courts.
     
  16. carlberry

    carlberry Member

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    In most cases the 10 passengers would have been something like 7 anyway (without the free travel) and this is the hit that the companies have taken. A few extra passengers for 60p dosent really cover the loss (especially on a long distance service) and something then has to give. This either means raised fares for everybody else or a reduced service.
     
  17. carlberry

    carlberry Member

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    Most areas of England have seen a reduction in the payment since it was first introduced so 80p down to 60p is perfectly possible.
     
  18. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    yet again you fail to read my post properly...(I'm beginning to think you do so deliberately)

    the point is if you wish to run a local bus service you HAVE to accept concessionary passes and you HAVE to accept what you are given for providing free travel... whether you like it or not...

    to use your earlier analogy with housing benefit... if you decide to become a private landlord you do not HAVE to accept tenants subsidised through the Housing Benefit system... even then IF you CHOOSE to accept housing benefit tenants you do not HAVE to accept anything lower than the going rate for your property...
     
  19. carlberry

    carlberry Member

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    OAPs were a big part of the bus market (commuters a much smaller bit) and services were tailored to when prospective passengers want to travel. The free travel issue has increased numbers and reduced revenue however in some circumstances (service length/local authority reimbursement rate) the OAP market can still be worthwhile (In Scotland especially) and wont be ignored aby any company.

    As the law stands a bus company dosent have 'bus pass privileges', it has a legal requirement to accept bus passes. It sounds more like it would have shut down because of a fraud investigation which has happened a few times.
     
  20. me123

    me123 Established Member

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    ^That is exactly what happened with the company (I'll admit I don't know the intricacies of the concessionary travel schemes). May have been slightly misreported locally.

    At the end of the day, I think something's gone wrong when a convenient bus route to a major local employer doesn't run at a time which would suit the employees! But if that's the way the market's going to go, then so be it. But I think that bus companies should be encouraged to provide services throughout the day, in the same way that most rail services have specifications to provide a regular and convenient service. Indeed, commuters should be a good source of revenue for a bus company - with regular income and guaranteed loadings, providing they meet local demand.

    Of course, that opens up the can of worms that is bus regulation and I won't go done that path...
     
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