Issue details

National Bus Strategy - procurement of technical consultancy support

1. Government published Bus Back Better: National Bus Strategy for England 15 March 2021. This set out requirements for English local transport authorities to develop Bus Service Improvement plans and progress establishment of Enhanced Partnerships with local transport providers to be able to access future funding to support local bus services and secure existing funding support (Bus Service Operators Grant).
2. Government made available a flat grant (capacity fund) of £100k for local authorities if they wished to secure funds to support the requirements set out at 1.
3. The grant had to be claimed by 16 April 2021. The council has claimed and secured this grant.
4. Whilst the council is not compelled to progress the proposals set out in the National Bus Strategy it is considered essential that current government funding (BSOG) is retained and the opportunity to bid for additional funds protected.
5. The approach set out in the National Bus Strategy is consistent with the council’s aspirations for improving bus use as indicated during the recent Hereford Transport Strategy Review. Cabinet determined to progress a package assessed in the review which would seek to increase patronage, encourage school journeys by bus, progress uptake of electric buses and also consider demand responsive transport. These are all aspects highlighted within the National Bus Strategy. Hence, progressing with this procurement will assist the council in progressing its transport ambitions.
6. The optional extension, if required and triggers met would provide ongoing support which it is anticipated may be required to help establish the operation of the Enhanced Partnership in the first year it is introduced.

Decision type: Non-key

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Notice of proposed decision first published: 23/04/2021

Decision due: 23 April 2021 by Officer Decision - Economy and Place

Contact: Steve Burgess, Head of transport and access services Email: sburgess@herefordshire.gov.uk Tel: 01432260968.

Decisions