Issue details

KCC Bus Funding Review - Proceed to Public Consultation on Proposed Service Changes

To date, approximately £1.3m of savings have been achieved without any noticeable impact on the public.  However to achieve the 2016/17 budget for supported services Public Transport has identified a package of service measures, which if they can be returned to commercial operation, will deliver this saving to KCC.  In returning these services to commercial bus operation , bus operators wish to make revisions to the provision in place and hence the need to consult with the public.



Decision type: Non-key - Low

Decision status: For Determination

Notice of proposed decision first published: 01/03/2016

Contact: Philip Lightowler, Head of Public Transport 03000 414073 and 03000 413479 Email: Tel: 03000414073.

Consultation process

Financial Implications:
From April 2016, the budget for socially necessary bus services will reduce from £6.6m to £5.6m.  This follows a previous reduction of £0.75m from 2015/16. 

This means that in the financial year 2016/17, a further £0.4m of savings from this budget needs to be found.  As identified above, all zero implication opportunities to save funding have now been exhausted and it is therefore necessary to reduce some service levels.  .

Legal implications:

The Transport Act 1985 requires Local Transport Authorities (LTA) to consider the support of socially necessary bus services.  However, expenditure in this area is a discretionary activity with LTA’s being under no obligation to provide subsidy for this purpose. 

Services carrying children with a statutory entitlement to free transport to school under the education act are unaffected by these proposals.


A failure to manage the process of change robustly in terms of demonstrating a consideration of the implications carries a possible risk of decisions being subject to judicial review.  . 


The Public Transport Team has sought advice from other authorities and is satisfied that the proposed consultation and related EqIA processes, developed with KCC Equalities Team ensure that the authority is not exposed in this respect.    


Equalities implications:
The overall process and the individual service changes have been subject to full EqIA’s which will be updated following the consultation process and is being completed with the KCC Equalities team.

The EqIA process has identified that there is a greater impact on; the elderly, disabled persons and disabled carers who are all identified groups within EqIA legislation.  However, the approach proposed seeks to mitigate this impact as far as is possible and the Equalities team have verified that the process is robust in EqIA terms.




Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee will discuss the proposal at its meeting on 11 March 2016.


The proposed timetable for the consultation process:


·         21/03/16         Consultation Launch

·         15/05/16         End of consultation period

·         05/06/16         Conclude analysis of Consultation and update EQIAs

·         08/07/16         Proposed changes reported to Environment

& Transport Cabinet committee

·         July 16           Renegotiate contracts with bus operators

·         Aug/Sep 16   Service changes introduced



Financial implications: Phil Lightowler Head of Public Transport Telephone number : 03000 414073 Email : Roger Wilkin, Director of Highways Transportation and Waste Telephone number : 03000 413479 Emai :

Legal implications: 16/00027

Agenda items