After a delay of five weeks, news of the funding allocations for Bus Service Improvement Plans was released, just as Buses went to press.
Only 31 BSIPs are to receive funding, leaving more than 40 Local Transport Authorities (LTAs) without any share of the total of £1.084bn. Those missing out include two of the largest shire counties, Essex and Hampshire, and the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, which has indicated its intention to pursue franchising.
The largest single allocation of £163.5m goes to the joint BSIP covering Durham, Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, with large sums also coming to the West of England Combined Authority (including North Somerset -£105.5m), Greater Manchester (£94.8m) and the West Midlands (£87.9m).
Norfolk receives the largest amount for a shire authority (£49.6m) while the city of Portsmouth possibly receives the most per head of population, with the sum of £48.3m representing a spend of over £200 for each person in the city.
The other four authorities named in the Levelling Up white paper receive about 10% of the overall funding, with Derbyshire getting £47m, Stoke-on-Trent £31.7m, Luton £19.1m and Warrington £16.2m.