Summary of MCL’s Project Experience

The project list below is ordered by subject of work for easy reference. Click on the list below to go straight to your subject of interest:


Assisting bus operators and local authorities


Concessionary Travel

MCL have extensive experience in the field of concessionary travel ranging from conventional consultancy studies and research projects to the ongoing involvement with a number of major schemes as scheme administrators and/or technical advisors. The following summarises recent and current work undertaken by MCL in this field.

Assisting with the transition of responsibility for Concessions to upper tier Authorities and the implementation of revised DfT reimbursement Guidance
Various County and Unitary Councils
On the introduction of the latest method of reimbursing bus operators with responsibility being transferred to County and Unitary Authorities in 2011, MCL provided advice on the development of schemes, cost estimates, discretionary options, etc. Negotiations with Bus Operators and the implementation and Project Management of Changes were an integral part of this.

Overall Administration of Concessionary Travel Schemes
Various Authorities (ongoing)
MCL continues to administer ENCTS Schemes for around one third of Shire England, using the current DfT Guidance and Calculator in most cases, but also advising on and assisting with negotiation of Fixed Pot Schemes and individual fixed payments to operators as well as overall scheme reimbursement rates. MCL also advises on the practicalities and likely cost of changing local discretions such as time of travel, discretionary services.

Assessment of Additional Capacity Cost (PVR) Claims
Various Authorities (ongoing)
Development of claim assessment methods and the evaluation of various claims made by bus operators for additional capacity (Additional Peak Vehicle Requirement) costs. Including consultation with operators and negotiation of settlements on behalf of authorities.

Technical Support to National Judicial Review case over Reimbursement Issues
Various Authorities (2009)
Responsible for technical input and briefing of the legal team representing TCAs in the Judicial Review case brought by Stagecoach and Go-Ahead against the Secretary of State for Transport over the principles of reimbursement.  A successful outcome was secured by the DfT and the TCAs as a result of this case.

Concessionary Travel in Cornwall
Cornwall County Council (2008-9)
A study into the feasibility and cost of extending the current free travel by bus scheme onto local rail, initially by a pilot on the Looe Valley line.

Management of Appeals against Concessionary Travel Reimbursement Arrangements, Calculator challenges and other disputes
Various Authorities (2006 to date)
Assessment of appeals, challenges to scheme arrangements and other disputes cases. Preparation of technical arguments, support in negotiation/mediation processes, and where necessary the briefing of legal partners, administration of the appeal process on behalf of the TCAs, review of determination and any follow up.

back to top

Social Research

MCL has worked with a range of clients to undertake social research projects – both quantitative and qualitative – since the company was first established. We are also able to provide data processing and analysis in relation to research undertaken by other agencies or by client personnel, where internal resources are not available, or where an external perspective on analysis and judgement is useful.

Projects range from those directly related to our core work dealing with local transport issues and concessionary fares schemes, to more recently assisting local authorities to handle public consultation exercises in areas as diverse as strategies for provision of Library services and Waste Management facilities.

Pressure on local Councils’ funding in particular has increased the need for this form of strategic review. With local research teams in a number of areas, and contacts with additional Market Research specialists in several of these, clients have found our ability to undertake research projects, and to present analysis of research in a straightforward clear manner, to be useful.

back to top


Transport and Local Planning

Sussex Housing and Care, Santon Group (2013)

MCL has begun working again with local property agents and developers in advising on the transport implications of local residential and other development.  An assessment on behalf of Sussex Housing and Care related to a proposed residential redevelopment in the conservation area of Lewes in East Sussex, aiming to ensure that design features improved on existing standards of access and visibility, and evaluating the likely impact of proposals on levels of traffic in the immediate surrounding area.
MCL provided support to a wider proposal to develop the North Street Quarter in Lewes, focusing on improved pedestrian and public transport access from this area to the Town Centre and onward connections.

back to top


Travel for Young People

Building initially on MCL’s research capabilities, the company has developed a strong capability in travel planning and the assessment of travel concession schemes for young people. Recent Project experience includes:

Projects include:

Kent County Council (ongoing)

Scoping study to evaluate the costs and options for providing free travel for young people. Implementation of initial pilot scheme, ongoing involvement in management and development thereof, leading to a commitment to a Countywide scheme encompassing school age children, looked-after children and recent care-leavers. Despite the challenging financial climate, these arrangements continue. With MCL’s support, with separate provisions for 11-16 and 16-19 age ranges.

Medway Council (ongoing)

Assisting with design, development and implementation of a morning peak period half fare scheme for year 7 – 11 students throughout Medway. Administration of the scheme once implemented.

Hertfordshire County Council (ongoing)

Reviewing the basis of all day half-fare scheme for 11-19 year olds throughout Hertfordshire, including data collection, development of reimbursement arrangements and ongoing administration once implemented. Assisting with the transition to smartcards and ongoing data analysis of home-to-school passes.

back to top

Revenue Allocation/Apportionment

Suffolk Taxi Voucher Scheme (ongoing)

MCL advised on the set-up, and continues to administer, the Suffolk Taxi Voucher Scheme which provides those Suffolk residents who are too disabled to travel by bus or live too remote from a bus service to use a quantity of free taxi vouchers.

Strathclyde Passenger Transport ZoneCard (ongoing)

MCL advises on and calculates reimbursement to multi-modal transport operators participating in this scheme.

back to top


Smart Cards

MCL maintains a strong interest in the deployment of ticketing and pass technology as part of its continual review of systems development in connection with its management services activities.

Recent studies and research projects include:

Various Authorities

Implementation of live smart card systems and the integration of smart card operations within the concessionary travel reimbursement process

Suffolk Endeavour (ongoing)

Working closely with Euclid and Unicard, MCL undertakes the Revenue Apportionment role to reimburse operators from an e-purse arrangement.

Kent Connected (ongoing)

Working closely with Euclid and Unicard, MCL undertakes the Revenue Apportionment role to reimburse operators from an e-purse arrangement and a number of shared ticket products.


Network Reviews

MCL’s experienced team specialise in reviewing bus networks, urban or rural. If ticket machine data is available, we will produce clear charts to support our findings on each route. We can analyse commercial networks or tendered portfolios for both operators and local authorities.
We can analyse the available data, research new opportunities and formulate proposals which are presented in a clear and concise way. We can also assist with implementation, if required and also set up simple route costing and revenue trend spreadsheets to monitor the successful network after introduction.
We have recently undertaken a full review for a local authority owned bus operation from data gathering through to post-implementation review.

Fares and Ticketing

MCL have experience of ETM programming (on the Ticketer system) and extensive knowledge of the use of ETM data from most systems, old and new.
Our links with Euclid and experience of smartcards includes the administration of two smart concessionary fare schemes and an electronic purse system.
We can advise on fare scales including the simplification of current systems and costed options for the future.
We are currently working with a local authority to introduce a multi-operator area ticket scheme from data gathering, bench marking and negotiation and consultation with a range of operators, large and small.

Transport Advice

MCL’s diverse range of transport experience allows us to give sound, well-researched and knowledgeable advice on a range of topics.
We specialise in concessionary fares and can give valuable advice on new or existing schemes at both a strategic or detailed level and for both schemes for the elderly and disabled or for young people. We are able to benchmark existing schemes on a one-off basis against the 14 areas that we administer and advise on how they meet DfT guidelines.
We can also offer other transport advice. Last year, we produced a comprehensive report for one local authority on the features and provisions of the Bus Services Bill and its opportunities and issues to consider if any provisions were to be taken forward.

back to top