The DfT have published their core concessionary fares reimbursement guidance and calculator for the 2021/22 scheme year. As expected, there are no material changes to the existing guidance and calculator, with all existing principles remaining unchanged. The core guidance and calculator is expected to be published on gov.uk within the next few days.
Due to the ongoing funding mechanisms in place, the DfT have also published supplementary guidance this year. Within this, they have requested that LTAs continue to pay concessionary fares reimbursement at pre-Covid levels in order to protect bus services. They have indicated that a transition plan is to be contained within the forthcoming National Bus Strategy.
Without prescribing a specific approach to calculating pre-Covid reimbursement levels, the DfT have instead set out six principles that LTA’s might want to consider e.g. seasonality of services and general trends in concessionary journeys over recent years. It is likely that a number of LTAs will revisit their calculations to ensure that all principles have been considered, which in turn could see a reduction in the reimbursement for operators.
The supplementary guidance can be found here: Supplementary-Concessionary-Travel-Reimbursement-Guidance.pdf.
If you have any questions or concerns around your reimbursement, including your ‘pre-Covid’ payment levels, EPM’s experienced consultancy team are here to help. Contact us to discuss your requirements.