Review of Subsidised Local Bus Services 2015

November 2015-January 2016

Somerset County Council (SCC) needs to review its allocation of funds for supported bus services. This is due to a continuing reduction in the amount of funding the Government provides the Council to run local services, and to manage competing demands for services that the Council is legally obliged to provide. We are now seeking your views on potential changes to the services that we support and would like you to tell us how this would affect you or your community (if answering on behalf of an organisation). 

Increasingly difficult choices will need to be made about where we provide support in the future. Routes have been identified by the Council for possible reductions in financial support due to either: 

  • Availability of services on other days of the week or the location of alternative services;
  • Low passenger use;
  • Possible Commercial replacement. 

We are also proposing that some services will operate at a reduced frequency rather than our support being entirely withdrawn, to retain the ability for people to make journeys by public transport.

Some buses have low usage, especially when serving more rural areas or running at quieter times of the day. SCC needs to make sure that subsidised bus services: 

  • Go where people need them, enabling people to access essential services, such as education, employment, health services and essential shopping.
  • Don’t duplicate commercial bus services.
  • Are prioritised for communities where the need for transport is greatest. 

Some Facts:

SCC have for many years subsidised bus services in areas where a bus service is not commercially viable and an operator would not provide any service without funding. The subsidy per passenger journey varies from 29p to £7.18 depending on the service and area covered. Some services cost less than £3,000 to subsidise while others cost over £100,000 per year to provide.

Please read the attached 'Service Table' document below before clicking on the link to complete the survey.

If you require this consultation in an alternative format or language, please contact us on 0300 123 2224 and we will be happy to assist you.

This consultation has now closed.


  • Opened
    9 Nov 2015 at 09:00
  • Closed
    11 Jan 2016 at 23:59
  • Response to be published



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