More than £900 million was spent on bus travel for pensioners and disabled people in the past year, the Department of Transport has revealed.
Transport Minister Stephen Hammond revealed that local authorities had paid £906 million towards bus travel in a Parliamentary written answer to Tory MP Therese Coffey.
The figure, which included both statutory obligations and discretionary schemes run by councils, was paid to bus companies by local authorities during the 2012/13 financial year.
David Cameron pledged to protect pensioner benefits at the last general election, including the free bus pass, but last month social mobility advisor Alan Milburn, the former Labour health secretary, suggested it should be reviewed again.
A Network Rail spokesperson has responded to calls for an inquiry into the way danger is assessed at level crossings.
We recognise that level crossings can be dangerous which is why over the past two years we have closed over 700 and are investing some £130 million in improvements. By early next year we will have made improvements at some 2,500 of the countrys 6,500 crossings and continue a national public awareness campaign to help educate people about their dangers and how to use them correctly.
A total of 29 organisations, 27 councils, one public authority and one government department, the Department for Transport paid private firms to undertake surveillance
The used powers under Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act in the years 2010/11 and 2011/12
But, 14 organisations - 10 councils and four public authorities - paid private firms to undertake surveillance that was not covered by Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, making it potentially illegal
Two public authorities and two councils paid other public bodies to spy on their behalf at a cost of £7,600
Four councils - Caerphilly, Dudley, Leicestershire and York - used private investigators to monitor their own staff
The chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Margaret Hodge MP, has strongly criticised the Department for Transport's handling of the West Coast Main Line competition.
She said that "no single person" had been in charge of the bidding process, and that for a period of three months "there was no single person in charge at all".
The franchising process was littered with basic errors. The department yet again failed to learn from previous disasters, like the Metronet contract. It failed to heed advice from its lawyers. It failed to respond appropriately to early warning signs that things were going wrong.
Senior management did not have proper oversight of the project. Cuts in staffing and in consultancy budgets contributed to a lack of key skills.
The project suffered from a lack of leadership.
– margaret hodge, chair, public accounts committee