Concessionary Bus Travel Funding Consultation

Closed 4 Jan 2019

Opened 30 Oct 2018


Like most councils across the country we’re facing massive financial challenges. Rising demand for services – particularly those supporting children, older people and our most vulnerable residents – and reducing government grant means we need to make some very difficult decisions about the way we deliver services across Surrey.

We have worked hard over the past few years to find savings in areas which will have the least impact on residents – such as being more efficient and modernising our support services, using technology more effectively and being more joined up – and since 2010 we’ve saved £540 million.

But over the next year we need to save a further £85 million to make sure we’re financially robust, able to meet the future with confidence and can deliver the best possible services to the people who need them most.

This means we will have to stop providing some services we know Surrey people value and rely on. We’re committed to doing this as honestly and openly as possible and we will be consulting residents, partners and businesses to get their views on a range of proposals and options for the future of these services.

One of the areas of funding which we will need to make some difficult decisions about is our support for concessionary bus travel across the county.

Central government provides councils with some funding so that qualifying older and disabled people can travel for free on buses after 9.30am and before 11pm during the week and all day at weekends and on public holidays. This is known as the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS).

In Surrey we provide just under £400,000 of extra funding for residents so that people with a disabled person’s bus pass can travel free at any time. We also provide companion bus passes so that any qualifying older or disabled bus pass holders who need help to travel can take someone with them who can travel for free as well. Many councils don’t provide this extra funding to support their concessionary travel schemes.

Why your views matter

We are proposing to reduce this extra funding to bring us in line with other councils who offer the statutory scheme. Disabled pass holders travelling before 9.30am and after 11pm on weekdays would then need to pay. Bus travel would still be free between 9.30am and 11pm on weekdays and all day at weekends and public holidays. As well as this we are proposing to no longer provide companion bus passes. The pass holder will still travel for free but anyone travelling with them would need to pay.

Ahead of making any final decisions about the future of funding for concessionary bus travel in the county 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 in Surrey and how you and others may be affected by the proposals we are making.

The proposal for disabled bus pass holders is to:

– Move to the national statutory level for free travel between 9.30am and 11pm on weekdays and free travel at weekends and on public holidays.

The proposal for companion bus pass holders is to:

– Move to the national statutory level and withdraw free travel for companions.

We will analyse all the responses we receive and present the analysis to members of the council’s Cabinet early next year when they will make final decisions about concessionary bus travel. If they decide to go ahead with the proposals the extra funding we provide for free concessionary travel would end on Monday 1 April 2019.

If you require the survey in another format such as Easy Read or large print, please call us on 03456 009 009 or text 07860 053 465 (Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm)

What happens next

This consultation has now closed. We are grateful for the time people have taken to provide their feedback. It is being carefully reviewed and will help shape recommendations to be considered by Surrey County Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday 29 January.

Please check the consultations page on our website for further updates after the meeting.


  • All Areas


  • Anyone from any background


  • Looked After Children and Care Leavers
  • Special Educational Needs
  • Disabilities
  • Parents and families
  • Staff
  • Policy
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Adult Social Care
  • Social care service users
  • People who use social care services
  • SCC staff
  • Highways