The KCC budget for 22/23, as agreed at full council in Feb 2022, included a reduction in the net budget for supported buses of £2.2M net. To meet the revised net budget will require the current number of contracts to be reduced, including those providing Kent Karrier services
There are currently 129 contracts supported by the council, including Kent Karrier. These contracts are a mix of support, either involving funding for a whole service or just specific journeys, for example on specific days i.e., Sundays.
The approach to identifying the contracts to be withdrawn has been to firstly to identify the anticipated costs for those current contracts expiring in 22/23, to identify any service commitments taken on in 21/22 (to protect school routes) and to identify any services/contracts where external funding i.e., S106 has come to an end.
Using the KCC supported bus service criteria, officers have 48 identified contracts to a value of £3M, which could be withdrawn.
The funding criteria prioritises services based on the day of the week they operate, journey purpose and the value for money, derived from a pound per passenger journey figure.
Data Protection implications
There are no data protection implications associated with this decision and therefore no DPIA has been completed.
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;
Decision status: For Determination
Division affected: (All Division);
Notice of proposed decision first published: 17/06/2022
Decision due: Not before 18th Jul 2022 by Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport
Lead member: Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport
Department: Growth, Environment & Transport
A paper was considered at Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee on the 18 February 2022, on the proposed consultation to withdraw 48 supported services.
Public Consultation ran from 24 Feb 2022 until the 20 April 2022. The link to the consultation is www.kent.gov.uk/bussavings.
Financial implications: The withdrawal of these supported services will deliver a whole year saving of £3M.
Legal implications: The funding of supported bus services is discretionary. Within each supported bus contract, the council has the right to give notice on a contract, providing three months’ notice is provided. Notice to operators would be given in July, with services ending at mid-October 2022.
Equalities implications: An overall EqIA has been completed for the decision and individual EqIA completed for each service identified to be withdrawn. This EqIA has been updated following the public consultation.