Bus Services: Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire

Department for Transport written question – answered am ar 15 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Sarah Owen Sarah Owen Llafur, Luton North

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what funding his Department provides to local authorities to ensure the maintenance of cross-boundary bus services in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

Photo of Sarah Owen Sarah Owen Llafur, Luton North

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of funding for local bus services across Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

In England, the majority of bus services outside London operate on a commercial basis. Where commercial service provision is insufficient to meet the needs of local communities, local authorities can subsidise bus services where this represents value for money. This ensures that service provision is aligned with local needs. In instances where bus services cross local authority boundaries, the Department for Transport expects the relevant local authorities to work closely with operators and passengers to ensure the delivery of bus services that reflect local need.

The Government recognises the importance of local bus services to ensuring communities can stay connected and has announced over £4.5 billion to support and improve bus services since 2020. This includes over £2 billion to help local authorities deliver their Bus Service Improvement Plans, of which Central Bedfordshire Council and Hertfordshire County Council have been allocated over £4.4 million and £32.7 million respectively between 2022/23 and 2024/25.

The Government also makes over £200 million available to bus operators every year through the Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) to help them maintain their networks. A further £42 million in BSOG funding is provided directly to local authorities to help subsidise socially necessary bus services that might otherwise be commercially unviable. Central Bedfordshire Council receives £136,394 and Hertfordshire County Council receives over £1.2 million of this funding every year.

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