Dear Poole Borough 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 I am only after the information for your authority):

1. What is the agreed total budget for supported bus services in the fiscal year 2018/19

2. What was the total spend for supported bus services in the fiscal year 2017/18?

3. What was the total spend for supported bus services in the fiscal year 2016/17?

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.

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)?

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?

6. How many and which supported routes are likely to be completely withdrawn in the fiscal year 2018/19?

7. How many and which supported routes have been completely withdrawn in the fiscal years 2016/17 and 2017/18, listed for each year?

8. How many and which of the previously supported routes have been taken on commercially?

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,

Chris Todd

Campaign for Better Transport

Strategy Team - Information, Poole Borough Council

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Sue Hill, Poole Borough Council

1 Attachment

Good morning, sorry for the delay but please find below in red the answers
to questions 4-8 and an attachment above in answer to the initial 3
questions.

 

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Sue Hill
Senior Business Support Officer
Growth & Infrastructure

Tel: 01202 262003

E-mail: [email address]
Borough of Poole, Civic Centre, Room 201, Poole BH15 2RU

www.poole.gov.uk

 

 

 

From: Chris Todd [[2]mailto:[FOI #472778 email]]

Sent: 22 March 2018 10:04

To: Strategy Team - Information

Subject: Ref 991 - Freedom of Information request - Bus service provision

 

Dear Poole Borough 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 I am only after the information
for your authority):

 

1. What is the agreed total budget for supported bus services in the
fiscal year 2018/19

 

2. What was the total spend for supported bus services in the fiscal year
2017/18?

 

3. What was the total spend for supported bus services in the fiscal year
2016/17?

 

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.

 

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)?

 

Three supported routes will be affected:

 

D1Poole-Penn Hill-Bournemouth (Mon-Sat hourly daytime service)

Following the retendering of this route, it will be operated as an
off-peak service from 9 April 2018, renumbered 20 and operator changed
from Yellow Buses to morebus. This means the withdrawal of journeys before
0900 and a gap in the afternoon timetable on school days.

 

H1 Broadstone-Canford Heath-Bournemouth (Monday to Saturday hourly daytime
service)

Following a public consultation, the 0650 journey from Broadstone to
Bournemouth will be withdrawn on a Saturday only. The service will also be
renumbered 18 from 9 April 2018.

 

445 Bearwood/Merley-Allenbourn Middle School (School Bus)

Following a public consultation this service will be withdrawn after 25
May 2018. It will partially be replaced by a revised commercial morebus
service 4 between Merley and Allenbourn School.

 

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?

 

2016/17

One – morebus 32 timetable (off-peak shopping service) was reduced from 3
to 2 journeys in each direction. In addition approximately £85,000 per
annum was saved through negotiated contract price reductions with morebus
with no changes to routes or timetables.

 

2017/18

Three –

 

128 Poole-Sterte-Upton Country Park-Upton (off-peak Monday to Saturday)

Following a public consultation, the 128 route was withdrawn from end of
May 2017. It was partially replaced by an amended morebus 10. This was an
improvement for some passengers but a reduction in service for a small
number of passengers.

 

26 Fern Barrow loop (Monday to Saturday)

Following a public consultation, the Fern Barrow loop section of this
route was withdrawn and the service number changed to U9 in April 2017.

 

18 Broadstone loop (Monday to Saturday)

Following a public consultation the last two journeys on the Broadstone
loop section of this route were withdrawn from April 2017.

 

In addition, more than £52,000 was saved through negotiated contract price
reductions with morebus with no changes to routes or timetables.

 

6. How many and which supported routes are likely to be completely
withdrawn in the fiscal year 2018/19?

 

One – the 445 (see above) although partially replaced with a revised
morebus 4 route.

 

7. How many and which supported routes have been completely withdrawn in
the fiscal years 2016/17 and 2017/18, listed for each year?

 

One – the 128 in 2017 (see above). However, this was partially replaced by
an amended morebus 10 route which better served some passengers.

 

8. How many and which of the previously supported routes have been taken
on commercially?

 

The only service that would fall into this category is the 445 (see above)
which will partially be taken on as part of the commercial morebus 4 from
June 2018. However, the Council has worked closely with the bus operators
and morebus in particular to reduce contract prices with no changes to
routes or timetables. This managed approach has resulted in significant
savings without impacting on passengers.

 

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.

 

Poole has benefited from a strong Quality Bus Partnership. We have been
able to work closely with the bus operators to achieve savings from the
bus subsidy budget whilst mitigating the impact on passengers. We have
been fortunate that the area has seen a significant growth in bus
patronage over the last 10-15 years which has enabled the bus subsidy
savings to be achieved with relatively small impact on passengers.

 

Thank you.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Chris Todd

 

Campaign for Better Transport

 

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show quoted sections

Dear Sue Hill,

Thank you for the information. Could you please check the figures you have given me for the suported bus services as for 2016/17 the information provided shows net expenditure of £1,146,513. However, in Dec 2016 https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/3... we were told the budget was only £666,810.

I appreciate one was budget and the later figure you have provided will be spend but even so there seems to be a large difference. We did ask for support bus services not to include BSOG or school transport for example. Could you check to see whether these (and other factors as requested) were excluded?

Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Todd

Dear Sue Hill,

Is there any news on my request for clarification?

Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Todd

Sue Hill, Poole Borough Council

Sorry about the delay I have chased and we have received the information from our accountant and are trying to make sense of it. We hope to respond tomorrow or early next week.

Apologies

Sue Hill
Senior Business Support Officer
Growth & Infrastructure
Tel: 01202 262003
E-mail: [email address]
Borough of Poole, Civic Centre, Room 201, Poole BH15 2RU
www.poole.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Dear Sue Hill,

Thanks - I look forward to receiving it shortly. Glad I'm not the only one who struggles with accountancy figures!

Yours sincerely,

Chris Todd

John Mcvey, Poole Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Todd,

 

I am sorry for the delay in getting back to you. We have recently changed
accountants and it hasn’t been easy to unravel the figures.

 

In Poole, the main budget expenditure code for supported bus services is
JJ5720. This budget is mainly used to support services that operate in the
evenings, weekends and off-peak shopping routes. It includes income and
expenditure relating to cross-boundary services with neighbouring
authorities. This budget area is supported by £146,800 of BSOG as well as
a smaller amount of S.106 funding. JJ5721 relates to the town centre
circular Route ONE bus service which has been accounted for separately
since it was introduced in 2004. This service also receives BSOG (£7,900)
and S.106 funding.

 

I have attached a spreadsheet detailing how these budget areas have
changed over the last three years.

 

Related to this is expenditure on school bus services. The majority of
these are registered bus services carrying fare-paying and ‘entitled’
pupils.

 

With regards to principal purpose of your request, I can say that the
Borough of Poole has followed a managed approach to reductions in bus
subsidy over recent years. The majority of the savings in bus subsidy have
been with minimal impact on passengers. Negotiations with the bus
operators (and morebus in particular) have resulted in contract price
reductions with no changes to routes or timetables. Other changes have
been reductions in frequency or, in a couple of instances, increases in
fares to achieve savings rather than withdrawing services entirely. A
small number of poorly used routes have been withdrawn but where possible
other routes have been varied to support passenger affected.

 

I hope this provides the information you were looking for. Let me know if
I can be of further assistance.

 

Regards,

 

John McVey | Sustainable Travel Manager

Growth and Infrastructure Tel. 01202 262221

Borough of Poole | Civic Centre | Poole | BH15 2RU

Find it all on www.poole.gov.uk

Save time & do it online. Report, apply or pay for over 400 services on
poole.gov.uk

 

Think Green! Please consider walking, cycling or using public transport

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear John Mcvey,

Thanks you for taking the trouble to unearth these figures. Just so that I am clear and representing your figures correctly am I right in assuming that you haven't subtracted BSOG and Section 106 monies from these totals?

If this is the case, while you have given me the BSOG amounts, do you have the S.106 amounts to get to the actual outlay the Council has had to make?

Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Todd

John Mcvey, Poole Borough Council

Hello Chris,

 

Yes, BSOG and S.106 funding supported these budgets as follows:

 

2016/17

JJ5720

BSOG £146,528

S.106 £36,390

JJ5721

BSOG £7,924

S.106 £27,000

 

2017/18

JJ5720

BSOG £146,528

S.106 £78,157

JJ5721

BSOG £7,924

S.106 £0

 

BSOG support will remain the same for 2018/19. I’m not sure about S.106
support yet but envisage it will be similar to 2017/18.

 

Regards,

 

John McVey | Sustainable Travel Manager

Growth and Infrastructure Tel. 01202 262221

Borough of Poole | Civic Centre | Poole | BH15 2RU

Find it all on www.poole.gov.uk

Save time & do it online. Report, apply or pay for over 400 services on
poole.gov.uk

 

Think Green! Please consider walking, cycling or using public transport

 

show quoted sections

Dear John Mcvey,

Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Todd

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