Leicestershire County Council has been given a further £1.79m in Government funding to continue shaping the future of public transport in the county.
Back in June the county council was given the same figure from the Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus (BSIP Plus) fund as part of Department for Transport (DfT) settlements to more than 60 local transport authorities in England.
Now, a second round of funding has been handed to the county council so work can continue carving out a path for sustainable rural public transport in Leicestershire.
The additional £1.79m is for 2024/25 and work will begin soon on how the money will be distributed and support the Government’s ambitions for this funding to maintain and support bus services, which the county council is doing on a value for money basis under the Passenger Transport and Policy Assessment.
The award will enable the county council to continue its strategic review of currently subsidised services, with the additional cash giving the opportunity for a wider view of the supported services.
It will not, however, mean the council will re-instate bus services which have been recently withdrawn, or fund poor value bus services.
We’re very pleased to get a further £1.79M from the Government and we’ll be working on our Passenger Transport Policy Strategy to reflect what the Government wants us to achieve with this money.
It’s our chance to shape the public transport offer across rural Leicestershire communities whilst ensuring we do not continue to pay for the low value services.
90 percent of our bus network is commercial so the buses we run need to offer value-for-money for the council and for taxpayers.Person:Councillor Ozzy O’Shea, cabinet member for highways and transport
Acknowledging that rural communities need long-term public transport options, Councillor O’Shea says the funding can ensure the hard work already underway to come up with plans to achieve this will continue.
Councillor O’Shea said: “This money will help us but it’s short-term funding, not a magic wand – we’re already working hard using the money we’ve already been given to come up with plans on how rural areas of Leicestershire can get public transport that works for both the council and residents.”