Our reference: 13396 FOI
17 April 2018
Dear Mr Todd,
Thank you for your request of 22 March 2018 in which you asked for the following
information. Please find our response to your questions below in bold:
1. What is the agreed total budget for supported bus services in the fiscal year
2. What was the total spend for supported bus services in the fiscal year 2017/18? Zero
3. What was the total spend for supported bus services in the fiscal year 2016/17? £883018
Note: This refers to the Department for Transport’s definition of a supported bus
service as: “one where a local transport authority has invited tenders for the
operation of a service (not e.g. seats on a bus or subsidised tickets etc), and a
contract exists as a result of that tender”. Please, exclude extra sources of funding
such as Section 106/developer funding, Community Infrastructure Levy, local
authority staffing and publicity, RTPI expenditure and revenue, the Bus Service
Operators Grant (BSOG), Local Education Authority funding for home to school
transport, NHS-funded non-emergency patient transport, social services transport,
voluntary transport and other central and national government grants or income
4. How many and which supported routes are likely to have cuts in services in the
fiscal year 2018/19 (for example loss of weekend or evening services)? Zero
5. How many and which supported routes have had cuts in services in the fiscal
years 2016/17 and 2017/18 (for example loss of weekend or evening services), listed
for each year? Please see attached listing of subsidised bus services that were withdrawn
during this period.
6. How many and which supported routes are likely to be completely withdrawn in
the fiscal year 2018/19? Zero
7. How many and which supported routes have been completely withdrawn in the
fiscal years 2016/17 and 2017/18, listed for each year? Please see attached listing of subsidised bus services that were withdrawn
during this period.
8. How many and which of the previously supported routes have been taken on
commercially? Please see attached listing of subsidised bus services that were withdrawn
during this period.
Our campaign also seeks to promote examples of councils which have protected bus
services, sometimes in innovative ways. Please do feel free to share any information
you feel is relevant on how your council has protected bus services. In February 2016, Oxfordshire County Council approved the withdrawal of
subsidies to 118 bus routes across the county.
To mitigate to some extent the impact that this has had, the council has
introduced or stepped up initiatives to retain some provision in the county for
Comet is a not-for-profit service, set up to allow people without suitable
access to public transport to make the journeys they want.
Since its launch in July 2016, the service now caters for over 150 individuals
and over 20 organised groups varying from Parish Council groups to
residential care homes. Therefore, Comet is currently providing transport to
approximately three hundred plus people across the county as and when they
2. S106 developer funded public transport
When new housing comes online, developers have to provide funding to
support the local infrastructure to accommodate the added pressures to public
services. Some of this money is allocated to support improved public bus
services in the area of the development.
The council is increasingly aware that in planning these new services, there is
a need to consider nearby communities which could be served on the back of
this developer funding while retaining the core purpose of the funding, which
is to serve the new development.
3. Scholar travel
The council has a statutory duty to provide transport to school for qualifying
scholars. In many cases, this is from remote communities where transport has
been withdrawn or was at risk of being withdrawn.
By committing to buy tickets for scholars on public bus services, as opposed
to the traditional ‘school buses, this is sometimes the difference in whether a
public bus previously subsidised can become commercially viable and
4. Community transport
The council works closely with the charity ‘Community First’ in promoting
community transport schemes in the county, where communities come
together to ensure transport exists for their parishioners. These can range
from community minibuses to car sharing schemes
Following the withdrawal of subsidised bus services, the council has assisted
new schemes by providing advice and support in the early stages of
development, small start-up grants, and training for new volunteer drivers
delivered by the Council’s Training Officers.
As a result, five new community transport providers have introduced timetabled
services, where free travel is available to holders of concessionary bus passes.
If you are dissatisfied with the service or response to your request you can ask for an
internal review as follows:
• Contact the Complaints & Freedom of Information team in Law & Governance:
• Use the online complaints form on our website:
• Write to the Complaints & Freedom of Information team at the FREEPOST
Corporate Complaints Team
Oxfordshire County Council
Oxford OX1 1YA
If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint, you have a
right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:
The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
Telephone: 0303 123 1113 Website: https://ico.org.uk
Please let me know if you have further enquiries. I would be grateful if you could use
the reference number given at the top of this email.
Supported Transport Manager