Transport Secretary Mark Harper has fulfilled the hint he gave to the House of Commons Transport Committee during April (Buses last month) of providing a longer-term funding settlement for bus operators and Local Transport Authorities (LTAs) in England.
Including money for the Bus Fare Cap Grant, £500m is to be provided, split into a number of pots, the longest of which will apply until April 2025.
Sixty three LTAs are receiving a share of an £80m Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus (BSIP+) fund during 2023-24, with the potential for a similar amount to follow in 2024-25. On average, each will receive a settlement of £1.3m this year, with the actual amounts roughly determined on a basis reflecting population, deprivation and car ownership.
They vary from £239,000 for West Berkshire Council (one of 18 LTAs that receive a top-up to their original BSIP allocation) to £4.9m for Essex County Council. Fourteen other BSIPs, all originally valued at over £16m, are not included in the new settlement.