County Council to extend COVID-19 support for local bus services

Hampshire County Council has committed to extend its additional, Covid related support for community transport services – committing to a further six months (1 October 2021 – 31 March 2022) while the country continues its economic recovery from the worldwide coronavirus pandemic

Sep 24 2021

This means that the Authority will continue the policy, implemented during the early stage of the pandemic, of paying 100% contract and concessionary fares payments to Community Transport operators. The move will assist those operators in the recovery and operation of their services, covering them for any loss of service user income which they may continue to experience due to COVID-19, over the winter and into early spring.

Formal agreement was given to this move, by the County Council’s Executive Member for Highways Operations, Councillor Russell Oppenheimer.  He commented: “Community transport serves some of the most vulnerable in our communities and are an important lifeline to enable them to travel for shopping, socialising or to get to health appointments. I fully agree that we should do what we can to keep those services running while passenger numbers gradually recover.”

Payments to operators of contracted local bus and taxi-share services will return to a business as usual arrangement, receiving payment for the contracts they operate with any shortfall being met by central Government’s ‘Bus Recovery Funding’.

However, the County Council will be continuing to reimburse bus operators for their concessionary fares income at pre-COVID levels and based on the percentage of pre-COVID timetable they are providing.

More details about the support for local bus services can be found in the decision report, published online: https://democracy.hants.gov.uk/documents/s82063/Report.pdf