Carl Sargeant, Minister for Local Government and Communities
The Community Transport Concessionary Fares Initiative has been in operation as a pilot scheme for six years, and it was due to end on 31 March 2012.
The evaluation of the scheme has evidenced significant issues with our continuing to fund the entirety of the scheme on the present basis.
However, I am aware that each of these schemes is a distinct, individual project and I believe it important that we now examine the projects independently to look at the benefits each scheme provides and whether there are alternative funding sources available.
Different avenues of funding are available for some of the schemes, particularly those that are suited to being registered as demand responsive services under Section 22 permits, which means they would be eligible for funding from the All-Wales Concessionary Fare Scheme.
Therefore, I have decided that the funding of the projects will not end in March but will continue whilst this further evaluation takes place. I have written to each of the 15 schemes informing them of this decision.
My officials have been in touch with each of the schemes to take this work forward. This will take place over the next few months.
I will make a further announcement when I have considered the findings from this evaluation.