Policy

Improving local transport

Supporting detail:

Increasing the use of buses

Local bus subsidy reform and regulation

The government has announced a series of reforms to improve the system of local bus subsidy and regulation in England. These are set out and explained in:

We’ve also responded to the recommendations in the Competition Commission’s report on the supply of local bus services in the UK (excluding Northern Ireland and London) and are making changes to the regulation that prevents bus companies from competing for new routes and in new areas.

In July 2013, we published further details on reforms to bus subsidy, including the devolution of funding for tendered bus services in London to Transport for London and elsewhere in England to local transport authorities. We also published details relating to the tightening of rules concerning the types of service which are eligible for the Bus Service Operators Grant.

Partnership and quality contract guidance

We have issued statutory guidance for those local transport authorities and metropolitan district councils in England considering quality partnerships or quality contracts. Under the Local Transport Act 2008, they must take account of this guidance:

We have also issued guidance which will help operators and local councils that are considering entering into voluntary bus partnerships:

There is separate guidance for local councils and operators who wish to create a punctuality partnership. This sets out why punctuality and reliability are important and explains how a partnership approach can help to deliver high standards of punctuality. It includes good practice examples, a model data sharing agreement and a model for partnership working:

2012 Better Bus Areas fund

The 2012 Better Bus Areas fund is aimed at local councils working in partnership with local bus operators. The aim of the fund is to increase bus use busy urban areas, creating growth and cutting carbon. Twenty four local transport authorities were awarded just under £70 million in March 2012.

The successful bidders demonstrated that their proposals for encouraging people on to buses – including bus priority measures, better ticketing and infrastructure improvements – offer good value for money and will help create growth and cut carbon.

Green Bus fund

The Green Bus fund is helping bus companies and local councils in England to buy new low-carbon buses. It means that hundreds of low-carbon buses can be put into operation sooner. Information about the scheme and the operators is in:

Low carbon bus certification

Manufacturers and operators can use our certification and guidance:

Bus Service Operators Grant

Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) is a grant paid to operators of eligible local bus services and community transport organisations to help them recover some of their fuel costs. The amount each bus company receives is based on their annual fuel consumption. The aim of BSOG is to benefit passengers. It does this by helping operators keep their fares down and enabling them to run services that might not otherwise be profitable and might be cancelled. Operators can find out more about:

Concessionary bus travel

The national bus pass gives older and disabled people free off-peak travel on local buses anywhere in England. The government wants to ensure that bus travel is affordable to those on limited incomes and those who have mobility difficulties. This supports our wider work to tackle social exclusion. Bus travel remains the most used form of public transport, especially by older people.

Information for local councils and bus operators

This guidance document is designed to assist Travel Concession Authorities (TCAs) in administering the England National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS):

This document provides guidance for local councils on determining people’s entitlement to concessionary travel under the Transport Act 2000:

A full list of TCAs who manage concessionary travel schemes, and Technical Advice Notes on passes:

This special grant report specifies the concessionary travel special grants which are paid to certain local councils in England:

Guidance to operators on the scheme to provide a half-price travel concession to those who are 60 years of age or who have been issued with a local authority concessionary travel permit on the grounds that they are disabled:

Concessionary bus travel reimbursement and appeals

Information and guidance to assist local council and bus operators to calculate concessionary bus travel reimbursement:

Research into the bus market

These documents provide information about government-commissioned research into the bus market:

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