Funding for supported bus services

In early 2020, the UK Government announced a £220 million investment in bus services in the UK; 'A Better Deal for Buses'.

It includes a range of possible funding opportunities for local authorities. The funding must be used on initiatives which:

  • explore new types of bus service provision
  • provide better connections for communities
  • increase productivity
  • reduce congestion.

One of the possible opportunities was ‘Funding for Supported Bus Services’. It was designed to provide local authorities with additional support to provide more services in their area.

Our funding proposal

We made a successful bid for ‘Funding for Supported Bus Services’ and in June we were awarded just over £1 million.

Our proposal was to support our Rural Transport Initiatives which, whilst positively received and serving their communities, have not been used enough to self-sustainably grow revenue.

Although some services have been disrupted and temporarily suspended as an impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we'll be able to use the funding to continue the initiatives beyond the pilot period and into a second year.

We'll continue to monitor their use and how they meet the needs of their community: Any conclusive review of their success and future sustainability will take place later in the year.

Sevenoaks number 8 service

In addition to supporting our Rural Transport Initiatives, we are pleased to be able to use some of the funding to support the number 8 bus service in Sevenoaks.

The number 8 is a route not traditionally served by a local bus service, and was very popular before being disrupted by coronavirus (COVID-19).

We hope that our support will enable this award-winning service to continue to thrive when services return to normal.