Concessionary Travel

Consultancy Projects, Administration Activities, Management Service Contracts



Consultancy Projects

In addition to ongoing Management Services work in connection with concessionary travel schemes, MCL has been involved in a wide range of consultancy projects in the concessionary travel field.

MCL advises a large number of local authorities with the development and operation of their free travel schemes as well as discretionary schemes such as travel vouchers. Advice ranges from operational matters to assessing options and forecasting cost and take-up.  It includes the development of reimbursement arrangements and their negotiation with transport operators on behalf of the Travel Concession Authority.

Working with legal partners, MCL has also been involved in dispute resolution between Travel Concession Authorities and Operators, including mediation, appeals and Judicial Review.

Statutory free travel concessions have led us into development of new techniques, for example methods for assessing additional capacity (PVR) costs. MCL also maintains close contact with the Department for Transport over the methods and techniques developed in the context of their formal Guidance issued from time to time.

Beyond the traditional field of concessionary travel, MCL has also developed considerable expertise in youth concessions and other initiatives promoting public transport use by young people.  We have undertaken a number of scoping studies looking at options for County and Unitary Council clients, and we have been pleased to see our work in several areas through to successful implementation, including the Kent Travel Saver and 16+ Travel Saver schemes, which between them provide free travel for over 30,000 young people in Kent.

Administration Activities

A typical Management Services contract for the administration of a County or Unitary concessionary travel scheme would involve the following:

  • Advice on the supply of all scheme materials including a fulfilment arrangement for smart cards and concession management software
  • Provision of technical support and advice to Travel Concession Authorities about the Scheme, including negotiation with operators
  • Assessment of claims and challenges made by operators
  • Management of appeals and other disputes with operators
  • Provision of means of collecting relevant data from operators
  • Integration of new technology in data collection
  • Operation of the reimbursement claim system
  • Maintenance of a register of eligible transport services
  • Measurement and checking of gross revenue foregone
  • Calculation of reimbursement rates and other DfT Calculator factors
  • Calculation of net revenue foregone and marginal additional costs
  • Assessment of additional capacity cost (PVR) claims
  • Notification of payment of reimbursement
  • General liaison and support to transport operators in respect of the scheme
  • Maintenance of management accounts for the scheme
  • Management and supervision of monitoring surveys
  • Preparation of annual reports
  • Annual review of the scheme expenditure
  • Quarterly forecasting and reporting
  • General advice and guidance in the running and development of the Scheme


Note – some of the above tasks may be in addition to basic contract provisions.

Current Management Service Contracts

MCL’s Current Management Services Contracts include the administration of the following Concessionary and other Travel Schemes.

  • The Central Bedfordshire Concessionary Travel Scheme covering the Central Bedfordshire Unitary Authority
  • The Essex Concessionary Travel Schemes Involving the County of Essex, Thurrock Council and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
  • The Hampshire Concessionary Travel Scheme covering the County of Hampshire
  • The Hertfordshire County Concessionary Travel Scheme covering the County of Hertfordshire
  • The Hertfordshire SaverCard Scheme for young people in Hertfordshire
  • The Concessionary Travel Scheme for Kent and Medway Involving the County of Kent and Medway Council
  • The Young Persons Travel Pass and 16+ Travel Pass for young people throughout the County of Kent
  • Medway Youth Concession Scheme providing half fare pass scheme for young people in Medway
  • The Portsmouth Concessionary Travel Scheme covering the City of Portsmouth
  • The Strathclyde Transport Partnership ZoneCard covering the revenue apportionment to operators participating in this multi-modal scheme throughout the Glasgow and the Strathclyde region
  • The Suffolk County Concessionary Fares Scheme covering the County of Suffolk
  • The Suffolk Travel Voucher Scheme providing alternative transport opportunities to those eligible people who cannot access conventional bus services
  • The Surrey Concessionary Travel Scheme covering the County of Surrey
  • The East Sussex County Concessionary Travel Scheme covering the County of East Sussex
  • The West Sussex County Concessionary Travel Scheme covering the County of West Sussex