Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Bus services in Central Bedfordshire to benefit from £3.7 million funding

Thursday, 22 December 2022

Plans to help provide improved bus services in Central Bedfordshire have moved a step closer.

We've received confirmation of £ 3.7 million in funding, associated with our Bus Service Improvement Plan, from the Department for Transport to improve bus services and infrastructure.

The funding covers three financial years (2022/23 – 2024/25) and of the £3.7 million, £2.18 million is for capital works with the rest, being revenue funding. £130,000 of the revenue funding is for the enhancement of existing services for 2022/23 and £260,000 in the subsequent years.

We haven't yet been made aware of when they will receive the funding but have reviewed our Enhanced Partnership documentation, as required by the Department for Transport. We hope the funding will be released soon.

Local authorities across England have been working to create their own bus service improvement plans and enhanced partnerships with operators, part of a two-stage process in the government’s national bus strategy, Bus Back Better.

The bus sector is facing many unprecedented challenges, with some services across Central Bedfordshire being withdrawn or reduced.

Councillor Ian Dalgarno, our Executive Member for Community Services, said:

We’re thrilled about the funding and are committed to doing all we can to protect local bus services, however, with operators facing rising operational costs, driver shortages, and patronage not yet back to pre-covid levels, it is a complex situation. We know local bus services provide connection for many residents across Central Bedfordshire to get to school, work and to visit friends and family.

We're looking at how to best spend this financial year’s allocation – with early thinking that enhancements will be taken on a corridor basis, undertaking service and infrastructure improvements at the same time.

Read about our Bus Service Improvement Plan and Enhanced Partnership.