Concessionary Travel

Concessionary travel is an important component of public transport service delivery, helping to connect and include vulnerable groups of older, disabled and younger people.

Journeys by concessionary pass holders now make up a significant portion of all public transport trips in urban and rural areas of the UK.  We help a number of local authorities and bus operators with the administration of concessionary travel schemes. 

Bus Small Bus

Concessionary travel is a topic that on the face of it appears straightforward - people can use local public transport services for lower fares - but behind the scenes is incredibly complex.  Successful implementation demands partnership working across local authorities and transport operators.

We advise on all aspects of concessionary travel schemes and work with 14 different local authorities to prepare scheme documents, calculate reimbursement rates, and process multi-million pound financial claims. Our team is highly regarded for its assured and practical approach.


  • Establishing and operating concessionary travel schemes
  • Evaluating impacts and financial implications
  • Reviewing and defining operator reimbursement criteria
  • Negotiating with operators
  • Processing and auditing operator payment claims
  • Resolving disputes and appeals
  • Passenger research

Brighton and Hove concessionary travel scheme administration

Local Authorities have an obligation to ensure bus operators are financially ‘no better, no worse’ as a result of carrying concessionary passholders. ITP helps to administer Brighton & Hove's concessionary travel scheme, providing expert advice to ensure operators are reimbursed fairly.

Day to day, we receive operator claim forms, verify and process those claims and ensure accurate payments are made each month. By collating claims, we maintain scheme accounts which permit ongoing monitoring of trip trends and keep Council officers informed of developments.

On an annual basis, we liaise with operators to determine equitable reimbursement, oversee negotiations and provide a trusted independent view for all parties.

Bus Concessionary Fares
Bus Concessionary Fares 2

Derbyshire concessionary travel support

Derbyshire County Council appointed ITP to advise on determining and implementing appropriate operator reimbursement arrangements for the Derbyshire and Derby City concessionary travel scheme.

Our role includes analysing operator data, preparing reimbursement calculations and conducting operator negotiations. We also advise the council on implementing efficiency improvements, based on a review of the scheme.

We have also supported the Council in implementing a revised version of their young persons' "b_line" concessionary travel scheme, which included financial modelling of different options, negotiations with operators, and preparation of new scheme documents.

DfT appeals decision maker

In 2011 and 2012 ITP Director Nick Ayland acted as an appeal decision maker on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport, reviewing bus operator appeals against the English national Concessionary Travel Scheme.

Nick provided an independent assessment of appropriate levels of reimbursement in accordance with the latest research and DfT guidance.  As one of only a handful of appeal decision makers, Nick is one of the foremost experts in the field of concessionary travel.

Nick Ayland