Decision details

National Bus Strategy - Contract Variation

Decision Maker: Service Director – Environment , Highways, & Waste

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No

Purpose:

Government published its National Bus Strategy (NBS) in March 2021 and this set out the approach it wished local transport authorities to take in developing improved local bus services with a promise of additional funding to support delivery of proposals. The government has provided £165k to the council to support its development of proposals.

The council commissioned Integrated Transport Planning (ITP) in June 2021 to assist in progressing its response to the NBS. The decision to award the contract was taken 8 June 2021 and can be viewed here.

The cabinet member for infrastructure and transport confirmed that the council’s approach would be to establish an enhanced partnership with local bus operators. The decision to progress an enhanced partnership was taken 18 June 2021 and can be viewed here.

Whilst most local transport authorities, in line with government guidance, are progressing enhanced partnerships the council is keen to explore the possibility for an approach based on bus franchising. This takes into account the low service coverage across the county, instability in the local bus market and the need to consider all available options.

On this basis, the cabinet member has asked officers to progress a technical assessment of the opportunity for bus franchising in Herefordshire and to answer the following questions:
• Can we do it
• How do we do it
• What would it cost
• How do we fund it

The current commission with ITP is based on its technical competence in terms of public transport policy and strategy and also value for money as assessed through an open procurement process. Hence, it is considered that a contract variation, consistent with the council’s contracts variation process, is progressed with ITP to undertake this work.

Contact: Phil Crossland, Interim Service Director Environment, Highways and Waste Email: Phil.Crossland@herefordshire.gov.uk Tel: 01432 260786.

Publication date: 11/01/2022

Date of decision: 11/01/2022

Accompanying Documents: