North Yorkshire County Council seeking ideas to take advantage of bus service funding

North Yorkshire County Council is seeking ideas to take advantage of government funding for bus services.

Thursday, 27th February 2020, 9:46 am
Updated Thursday, 27th February 2020, 9:48 am

Following the announcement of a package of measures by the Government, there is an opportunity to secure funding to improve bus services in the region.

The council is now seeking suggestions for proposals from across the county and is currently looking at two elements of the package – funding for supported bus services and the Rural Mobility Fund.

North Yorkshire has been asked to submit proposals to allocate £757,000 in 2020/21 and must do so by early March.

Rural buses.

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: “We welcome this opportunity to increase support for local transport, on top of the £1.5m a year the county council currently spends to subsidise bus services.

“North Yorkshire faces particular challenges around public transport because of its sparse population and the deeply rural nature of large parts of the county, so we’re looking for solutions that can make a difference.

“We are in contact with key stakeholders, including bus operators, community transport providers and district and parish councils and are inviting them to submit proposals, but we want to ensure awareness of the opportunity is as wide as possible so that any interested parties can come forward with proposals.”

The first element of the government package - funding for supported bus services - is being provided to local authorities to help to provide more bus services.

Ideas as to how to do this could include improving existing services by increasing evening or weekend frequencies, restoring lost bus routes where most needed or supporting new services or extensions to current services to access new housing, job opportunities or healthcare facilities.

The main aim of the Rural Mobility Fund - the second element of the government package - is to trial demand-responsive transport that works better than traditional transport for residents of rural and suburban areas.

Demand-responsive solutions would either fill a gap or complement existing timetabled bus services.

Services need to show that they can help residents to access education, work, healthcare and enable greater social inclusion.

Proposals must be submitted by March 9 and further information can be found on the county council’s website, www.northyorks.gov.uk/busfunding