FOI reference: FOI/18/00693
Date received: 4 March 2018
Date responded: 28 March 2018
1. Could you please provide detail of specific instances of engagement or communication Transport Scotland has had with cardholders regarding over-staging, correct journey recording and checking ticket destinations?
2. Perhaps Transport Scotland could give their opinion on this matter and advise if they intend any future additional action to tackle what is surely an unacceptable level of over-staging by bus companies as identified by my recent experiences with First Group?
3. Could you please provide specific detail of these posters and leaflets together with detail of when displays were last updated?
4. Perhaps Transport Scotland could comment on this lack of knowledge by staff manning a phone line specifically set up by you to deal with dedicated matters of concessionary travel abuse?
5. Could you please advise as to what the total re-imbursement amount would have been to First Glasgow had they correctly recorded the 70 journeys made by me in total and also what the over-charge is as a percentage of what the re-imbursement amount should have been.
1. Transport Scotland meets with various groups supporting older people and people with disabilities such as the Scottish Pensioners Forum and Enable Scotland. Concerns and issues relating to the concessionary travel scheme, such as over-staging are often raised at these meetings. We take this opportunity to remind them about the Freephone number and encourage them to report any concerns when necessary. While we cannot provide specific details or information realting to other concession cardholders, I would hope that this illustrates the efforts Transport Scotland makes to ensure this information is shared and widely known to those affected by these concerns.
2.Transport Scotland takes misuse of the concessionary travel scheme, such as over-staging very seriously and we have processes in place to monitor, manage and appropriately action this.
We have in place a Counter Fraud Strategy and Response Plan which as part of a process of continuous improvement, is currently under review. www.transport.gov.scot
3.The poster promoting the Freephone number was launched in 2012 and the posters were issued to local authorities, bus operators and groups representing older and disabled people at this time. These posters were subsequently displayed in various locations including bus stations, bus stops, community/council buildings and on-board buses and can still be seen in several of these locations today.
There are no plans at present to refresh these posters, however following the review of the Counter Fraud Strategy and Response Plan, we may issue further information or provide updated posters.
4. The Freephone number was initiated by Transport Scotland specifically to act as a contact point for the public. We believe your experience was an isolated instance as we have not previously or afterwards received any complaints or concerns to suggest that there is a problem with the staff manning this phoneline.
5. Firstly, I would like to apologise and advise that in our previous response of 7th February, we incorrectly advised that out of your 83 recorded journeys, 70 were made on First Glasgow, this unfortunately was a typing error and this should have stated 73 journeys. However all information provided and analysis since this point has been based on the 73 journeys.
In relation to your question, if all 73 journeys has been recorded correctly, the reimbursement value would have been £73.91. Taking the overcharge (£11.55) against what the operator should have been reimbursed had the journeys been recorded correctly (£73.91) this equates to 15.6%.
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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House