The frequency of Transdev’s Cityzap service between Leeds and York has halved, as patronage recovery has been slower than on other services.

Full conditions of the extension of the Bus Recovery Grant (BRG) were finally supplied by the Department for Transport to operators at Easter, several days after the scheme had come into place in early April.

While operators are still expected to provide services at 90% of pre-Covid levels until the end of June, from July the figure drops to 80%. Figures below this threshold may not be eligible for BRG unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as driver shortages.

The DfT is also requiring operators and Local Transport Authorities (LTAs) to work together on a Network Review, “to ensure LTAs and operators are ready for October 4, 2022, when recovery funding for the local transport sector ends”.

It says operators should share data with LTAs to determine ‘expectations of service levels at the end of the recovery period’, with assumptions about future passenger numbers determined locally. It wants the two sides to ‘work together to grow patronage demand, including concessionary passholders, as much as possible during the recovery period’, and is permitting BRG funds to be used for marketing campaigns to achieve this.

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