BASIC concessionary fares on buses, trains and Metrolink are set to increase from April.

The increases coincide with a change in Greater Manchester's concessionary fares scheme.

This is to enable it to comply with the National Minimum Travel Concession Scheme which is introduced by the 2000 Transport Act.

Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority (GMPTA) has received a report outlining the results of its consultation exercise undertaken among district councils, local user groups and bus operators.

This move was to determine how Greater Manchester's scheme could be brought in line with the statutory minimum half fare concession.

In light of the consultation, the authority is amending its current scheme.

In future, the elderly and certain groups of disabled people travelling by bus will pay the lower of either half the standard single fare for the journey or the flat concessionary fare. The scheme is introduced for existing concessionaires on April 1 and, for some new groups of disabled people, from June 1.

Those young people entitled to travel at the concessionary fare will continue to travel at the appropriate flat fare for all journeys.

The flat concessionary bus fare will rise from 37p to 40p from April and, from the same date, Ring and Ride and off-peak Metrolink flat concessionary fares will rise from 40p to 45p. The off-peak flat concessionary rail fare goes up from 40p to 45p from May 1.

Councillor Roger Jones, chairman of the GMPTA, said: "We presented consultees with a number of options for revising the concessionary fares scheme in order that it should meet the requirements of the national minimum travel concession.

"The vast majority of consultees indicated their preference for the type of scheme we have chosen to adopt."

He added: "This means that people who travel at concessionary rates will still enjoy the benefits of a flat fare scheme, but will also be able to travel at half fare when that works out as the cheaper option.

"The good news for the elderly and for many disabled people is that they will be able to benefit from the new scheme from April 1 instead of the starting date of June 1 which the Transport Act has set as a deadline."