To accept the second tranche of BSIP funding comprising £4,379,500 revenue and £11,704,904 capital and also to accept £2.3m BSIP+ funding for 2024/25 to deliver an agreed programme of works.
Reason for the decision
KCC will be entering into an agreement with DfT for funding over £1m to deliver significant bus improvements across Kent.
KCC has been awarded £35.1m to deliver some of the interventions identified within the Kent BSIP. DfT awarded the funding in two tranches. In February 2023 Kent was provided funding of two years of £12,454,840 capital and £6,530,895 revenue to deliver an accelerated Tranche 1 programme. In late June 2023, Public Transport officers learnt from the DfT that KCC could anticipate receiving a formal tranche 2 funding offer for the remainder of the allocation; £4,379,500 revenue and £11,704,904 capital.
In addition to this funding, KCC received £2.3m of BSIP+ funding for 23/24 and is now also being offered £2.3m BSIP+ funding for 2024/25. This followed a government announcement on 17th May 2023 stating that an additional £160m was to be made available for Local Transport Authorities (LTAs) over 2023/24 and 2024/25 to further support the delivery of BSIPs.
Options (other options considered but discarded)
To forego the funding award. This is rejected as the funding still represents a significant investment into bus provision in Kent.
How the proposed decision supports Framing Kent’s Future 2022-2026:
The decision supports Priority 2: Infrastructure for communities and the specific commitment to work with our partners through the Kent Enhanced Bus Partnership and with Government to explore sustainable and commercially viable options for providing bus transport to meet people’s needs, making the best use of Bus Service Improvement Plan funding.
· The total funding available and deliverable is £4,379,500 revenue and £11,704,904 capital.
· In addition to this funding, KCC is also being offered £2.3m BSIP+ funding for 2024/25
· There is no financial contribution required from KCC, however, if projects are not delivered as agreed in the funding agreement, the DFT may require payback of the whole or any part of the grant funding and also hold back funding for other projects.
· There is a Project Adjustment Request (PAR) process in place at DfT which allows KCC to submit requests to change delivery timescales and budgets across initiatives for consideration by DfT.
· Acceptance of funding would require KCC to “lock in” 2023/24 funding levels of subsidy until March 2025.
Decision type: Key
Decision status: For Determination
Notice of proposed decision first published: 07/11/2023
Decision due: Not before 6th Dec 2023 by Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport
Reason: To allow 28 day notice period required under Exeuctive Decision regulations
Lead member: Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport
Lead director: Haroona Chughtai
Department: Growth, Environment & Transport
Public consultation undertaken or planned
The formation of the Kent Bus Service Improvement Plan and the development of initiatives forming KCC’s initial application was formed following public consultation and stakeholder engagement.
Some individual projects will require public consultation and this will be timetabled into the detailed project delivery plan.
Cabinet Committee consultation planned:
The proposal is being discussed by Members of the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee on 15 November.
Financial implications: Please see details above
Legal implications: For BSIP Tranche 1, an existing MoU is in place and DfT have proposed that on acceptance of Tranche 2, an update would be made to this existing MOU.
Equalities implications: Equalities implications: An overarching Equalities Impact Assessment (EqIA) has been undertaken which has not identified any negative implications from accepting the grant funding. An EqIA will be undertaken for individual projects. Data Protection implications: An overarching Data Protection Impact assessment will be undertaken on the acceptance of the grant funding and for each project.