Campaign for Better Transport

Dear Carmarthenshire Council,

I am gathering information on bus and public transport provision as part of the Save our Buses campaign, which maps cuts to bus services across the country. We know that the Government has made deep cuts to local authority budgets, and that this is having an effect on the provision of local bus services. We would like to gather a national picture of bus cuts, so that we can explain to central Government exactly how their decisions are having an impact across the country.

My questions are as follows, in each case only with respect to Carmarthenshire Council:

1. What is the total budget for supported bus services in the fiscal year 2016/17?

2. What was total budget for supported bus services in the fiscal year 2015/16?

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 streams.

3. What is the fiscal year 2016/17 budget for supported bus services as a percentage of the total transport budget?

Note: For the purposes of this request 'transport' includes highway maintenance, home to school/college transport; adult social care transport; demand responsive transport; special educational need transport and voluntary driver schemes, cycling and walking, roads spending, supported bus services and fares. Please include the council’s contributions to projects jointly funded by multiple organisations, but exclude contributions from those other organisations and funding streams, such as Local Enterprise Partnerships, private sector contributions, Local Growth Fund, Department for Transport contributions to Local Authority Major Projects, Local Sustainable Transport Fund etc.

4. What proportion of total council expenditure (capital and current) is constituted by local bus funding?

5. How many and which supported routes have had cuts in services in the fiscal year 2016/17 (for example loss of weekend or evening services)?

6. How many and which supported routes have been completely withdrawn in the fiscal year 2016/17?

7. Does your council provide free school transport to nearest or catchment school, or to nearest school only? If nearest school only, please indicate if this is a change since Jan 2012.

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.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Lianna Etkind
Campaign For Better Transport

FOIA, Carmarthenshire Council

Dear Ms Etkind

Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 24th November, 2016 and is being dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We are therefore required to provide a response within 20 working days, which will be on or before 22nd December, 2016.

If we require clarification we will contact you as soon as possible – please note that the timescale for response specified above may be subject to change if this is the case.

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any queries, remembering to quote the reference number above in any communications.

Yours sincerely

John Tillman
Swyddog Gwybodaeth a Diogelu Data
Adran y Prif Weithredwr
Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin

Information & Data Protection Officer
Chief Executive's Department
Carmarthenshire County Council
Mewnol/Internal: 4127
Allanol/External: 01267 224127

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Campaign for Better Transport

Dear FOIA,
I wish to inquire about the progress of my request, dated 25 November 2016.
Please let me know of a timescale when answers to my query would be available or of any clarifications,
if required.

Yours sincerely,

Michael,
Campaign for Better Transport

FOIA, Carmarthenshire Council

Dear Ms Etkind
 
Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 24^th
November, 2016.  My sincere apologies for the delay in providing you with
a response.
 
The specific information you requested was as follows:
 

 1. What is the total budget for supported bus services in the fiscal year
2016/17?

A separate specific budget figure for supported services is not available,
the public transport budget includes other elements such as marketing and
publicity, infrastructure and voluntary transport.
What was total budget for supported bus services in the fiscal year
2015/16?
A separate specific budget figure for supported services is not available,
the public transport budget includes other elements such as marketing and
publicity, infrastructure and voluntary transport.
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 streams.

 2. What is the fiscal year 2016/17 budget for supported bus services as a
percentage of the total transport budget?

 
2015/16    6%
2016/17    5% estimated
 

 3. What proportion of total council expenditure (capital and current) is
constituted by local bus funding?

 
2015/16           0.25%
2016/17           0.22%
 

 4. How many and which supported routes have had cuts in services in the
fiscal year 2016/17 (for example loss of weekend or evening services)?

 
None
 

 5. How many and which supported routes have been completely withdrawn in
the fiscal year 2016/17?

 
None
 

 6. Does your council provide free school transport to nearest or
catchment school, or to nearest school only? If nearest school only,
please indicate if this is a change since Jan 2012.

 
Nearest or catchment school
 
Yours sincerely
 
John Tillman
Swyddog Gwybodaeth a Diogelu Data
Tîm Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth a Chwynion
Adran y Prif Weithredwr
Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin
 
Information & Data Protection Officer
Information Governance & Complaints Team
Chief Executive's Department
Carmarthenshire County Council
 
Mewnol/Internal: 4127
Allanol/External: 01267 224127
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Campaign for Better Transport

Dear Carmarthenshire Council,

Thank you for the info provided. Looking through our information, I located a report that listed that your 2015/16 supported bus budget as £845,654. I don't know how you calculated this sum last year, but can you say whether this year's supported bus budget is anywhere near that sum? I understood that your budget includes other elements that are irrelevant to my question and that it's hard to clearly specify, but could you please provide me with an estimation?

Yours sincerely,

Campaign for Better Transport

FOIA, Carmarthenshire Council

Dear Sir/Madam

In response, the only specific figure available is the estimated spend on supported services which is projected to be £849,125.
Thank you

John Tillman
Swyddog Gwybodaeth a Diogelu Data
Tîm Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth a Chwynion
Adran y Prif Weithredwr
Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin

Information & Data Protection Officer
Information Governance & Complaints Team
Chief Executive's Department Carmarthenshire County Council

Mewnol/Internal: 4127
Allanol/External: 01267 224127

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