Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: “Before COVID-19, passenger numbers in Hampshire were doing well – and investment in providing a comfortable and quality service as a viable alternative to car travel, such as on-board Wi-fi and contactless payments was paying off. It’s important we offer some protection to the income of local bus operators to help them at this time so that, when demand increases again, these services will be there to play a part in Hampshire’s green recovery. This is particularly vital in the case of the local bus services used by school and college students to access their place of education. National guidance urges local authorities to continue to support bus and coach operators for local bus contract reimbursement at the same levels as before the Coronavirus outbreak, and Hampshire County Council will certainly comply with this request.
“In the meantime, I’d like to thank all those working as community transport drivers and those working at bus companies, particularly bus drivers, who are all continuing to provide a much needed service to help ensure vulnerable people can stay connected to their communities and key workers can get to work and people who rely on public transport can get essential supplies.”
The County Council will also provide 80 per cent of payments to taxishare operators until 31 March 2021 to provide continuity for taxishare services in Hampshire to primarily older and vulnerable people.
More information can be found in the decision day papers.