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Covid-19: Support for passenger transport

How we are supporting communities and passenger transport operators in Leicestershire.

Covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG)

Due to COVID-19 Government had previously been asking the public to avoid the use of public transport for the first few months of the pandemic since March 2020. Whilst guidance has now relaxed, advising the public when using public transport to consider traveling at off-peak times and walk or cycle for part of their journey, patronage on public transport services has not returned to pre-COVID-19 levels. During this time local councils have been encouraged by Government to maintain their existing subsidies paid to bus operators for supported bus services operating in their area. To enable local authorities to further support bus operators, government have provided a COVID-19 Bus Services Support Grant to ensure bus operators can maintain necessary services at a level which is sufficient to meet reduced demand, but also to allow adequate space between passengers on board.

Leicestershire County Council has been able to claim some financial support from the CBSSG funding for the COVID19 period starting 17 March 2020. It is unknown at this time whether this support funding alone will be sufficient to fulfil what the Government is encouraging the County Council to do; the authority may need to draw on other funding sources, as indicated below.

The authority has claimed the following amounts from the Governments CBSSG funding:

  • 17 March - 08 June 2020 - Amount claimed: £170,121 
  • 09 June - 03 August 2020 - Amount claimed: £99,241 
Details of CBSSG funding use for supported services is shown below:
 Supported Mileage/KM per CBSSG fund period 
Service number17 March 2020 - 08 June 202009 June 2020 – 03 August 2020
Roberts 2712,156 miles / 19,563 km8,362 miles / 13,457 km
Roberts 12514,504 miles / 23,341 km9,946 miles / 16,007 km
Roberts 712,509 miles / 20,131 km8,578 miles / 13,805 km
Roberts 103 (Meynells P&R)4,732 miles / 7,615 km15,532 miles / 24,996 km
Roberts 203 (Enderby P&R)8,404 miles / 13,524 km29,353 miles / 47,239 km
Roberts 303 (Birstall P&R)3,312 miles / 5,330 kmDid not operate during this period
Paul Winson 12913,448 miles / 21,642 km9,336 miles / 15,025 km
Paul Winson 34,830 miles / 7,773 km3,098 miles / 4,986 km
Paul Winson 132,049 miles / 3,297 km1,318 miles / 2,121 km
Centrebus 5810,029 miles / 16,140 km7,089 miles / 11,409 km
Centrebus 10014,966 miles / 24,085 km10,565 miles / 17,003 km
Centrebus 2321,989 miles / 35,388 km15.537 miles / 25,004 km
Centrebus 256,734 miles / 10,838 km4,758 miles / 7,658 km
Centrebus 22B (Saturday)1,022 miles / 1,645 km708 miles / 1,140 km

Supported Bus Services Funding

As part of its ‘Better Deal For Bus Users’ in April 2020 the government allocated local authorities one year funding to enable them to improve some current supported services and to restore some lost bus services where most needed. Leicestershire County Council has been allocated a single settlement of £556,627.

The government has subsequently allowed this funding allocation to be used to provide additional support to existing subsidised services during the Covid-19 period if required.

The below table sets out the service provisions which pre-Covid-19 had been selected to be the most appropriate to be funded from the 2020 Supported Bus Services Funding settlement.

However, it should be noted that even before the impacts of Covid19 became apparent the number and type of services which could be funded from the settlement would be dictated, in part, by the contract cost to implement these service provisions. Estimates based on previous contract costs and tenders have been used to compile the proposed list.

Therefore, the actual final cost to procure each service provision may be more or less dependent on the final agreed contract price with relevant commercial operators.

The difference in the estimates and the final cost will be influenced by the commercial market in each area at the time of tender/negotiation.

It is important to note that the proposed service provisions set out in the list below may not all be possible if tendered/negotiated contract costs are higher than expected.

The authority may also need to use some or possibly all or this fund as additional monies to support existing subsided services during the Covid-19 period.

ServicePre-Covid-19 proposal for use of DfT fundingPre-Covid-19 type of enhancement
154 Loughborough - LeicesterRetain service (Mon-Sat)Maintain service
113 Melton Mowbray - OakhamPartial replacement of journeys between Melton Mowbray and OakhamRestore as DRT
Melton area Demand Responsive Transport (DRT)Enhancements to cover more days per week in each direction (and / or to provide an additional return journey on specific days)Improve service
New service from Bottesford and villages to BinghamNew service to replace lost journeys on specific day(s) of the week (e.g. Bingham market day)Restore service
747 Uppingham - LeicesterRetain serviceMaintain service
Ashby Magna Demand Responsive Transport (DRT)DRT on additional 1 or 2 days per week to/from LutterworthNew service
Service 44 Fleckney - Foxton via Market HarboroughRetain serviceMaintain service
3 Hinckley - BurbageReinstate certain journeys as DRTMaintain service
Whitwick Demand Responsive Transport (DRT)Retain and Introduce new DRT journeysMaintain or enhance service
125 Leicester - Coalville - Castle DoningtonReinstate certain removed journeysRestore service

*The order of services shown in this list does not indicate allocation priority of available funding
*Duration of enhancements funded may vary between 6 and 12 months

Details of the actual expenditure of the Supported Bus Services Funding will be published on this page in line with government guidance at the end of the 2020/21 financial year.

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