Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Concessionary fares for trams - Who pays

More costs coming for the Edinburgh taxpayer
Edinburgh taxpayers seem to be a step closer this week to footing the bill for concessionary fares - for everyone who is over 60 who uses the tram. 

The business case for running the trams assumed that the cost of concessionary fares would be picked up by the Scottish Government - as is done for bus travel.  The Government has never actually committed itself to such a payment - but the Labour/SNP administration has manoeuvred itself into the position where, at a meeting last Friday at which there were government representatives, it was stated, and not challenged, that Edinburgh would pick up the bill.

In order to clarify the situation Edinburgh Conservatives put the following emergency motion to the Policy and Strategy Committee of Council today. 

Given confusion over who will pay for concessionary fares for trams, and comments from the Convener of SESTran Bus Operator’s group at a SESTran meeting on 22nd February 2013 that they will be locally funded, comments which were uncontradicted by the Transport Scotland representative at that meeting, Committee instructs that a report be prepared in one cycle detailing the discussions with all interested parties and progress on negotiating who will pay for concessionary fares.
 The motion was rejected by the convener.  The administration is not doing too well with this negotiating challenge!

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