The BSIP process is now in full swing for those authorities with funding. Those that received nothing have been promised BSIP+ funding, though the rules of that grant are still not clear. It’s not as generous as first thought, as those authorities have lost their BRG Grant, which for some was about a third of BSIP+. This lack of clear rules is a significant part of the problem local authorities face. The Department for Transport (DfT) lacks knowledge about the bus sector and is using untrained staff or consultants. I’ve always steered clear of consultants - their ‘expertise’ is expensive and not cost effective. Often, they actually have no expertise. Ask them to write 120 pages of boilerplate and they can do it, but they have no idea about real bus operation. The messages from the DfT keep changing. There is no guiding mind at the centre of the BSIP process, even though its budget is £1bn plus. I’ve yet to talk to a DfT official who actually makes decisions.

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