Decision Maker: Overview and Scrutiny Board, Cabinet, Council
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Cabinet is asked to note that the Service
Director for Transport and Engineering has used delegated authority
to indicate to the Department for Transport (DfT) that the Council
intends to enter into a statutory Enhanced Partnership (EP) with
the local bus service operators from 1 April 2022. Local Transport
Authorities and bus operators were asked to commit to forming an EP
by 30 June 2021 with the EP being operational from 1 April
This report also seeks approval to formally enter into the EP with the BCP local bus service operators under the Bus Services Act 2017 and in line with the National Bus Strategy for England.
RESOLVED that: -
(a) Cabinet supports the formation of an Enhanced Partnership with the bus operators as a replacement to the existing voluntary Quality Bus Partnership.
(b) Cabinet delegates authority to the Service Director for Transport and Engineering in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Transport and Sustainability to negotiate, seek stakeholder views and then publish a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) on behalf of the Council by the end of October 2021 in line with the requirements of the National Bus Strategy for England.
Portfolio Holder: Transport and Sustainability
The recently published National Bus Strategy for England sets out an ambition for every local transport authority and bus operator in England to be in a statutory Enhanced Partnership or a franchising arrangement (entering into an EP does not preclude franchising in the future, however, achieving franchising is lengthy and complex with significant financial risk).
Improving bus services to attract more passengers is a joint aim of the bus operators and the Local Transport Authority (LTA).
An Enhanced Partnership will build on the good work undertaken through the voluntary Quality Bus Partnership over the last two decades.
Not entering into an Enhanced Partnership will result in a significant financial funding loss for the council and for the bus operators.
Report author: John McVey
Publication date: 03/09/2021
Date of decision: 01/09/2021
Decided at meeting: 01/09/2021 - Cabinet
Effective from: 11/09/2021