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Bus Services: Private Sector

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 178969, tabled on 12 April 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether a private bus operator will be permitted to provide bus services outside of an enhanced partnership arrangement as proposed in the National Bus Strategy in the event that that operator is willing to forego any form of public subsidy for the provision of those bus services.

Answered on

19 April 2021

An enhanced partnership scheme specifies standards of service that must be met by all operators running local bus services in the scheme area, regardless of whether they receive subsidy. A private bus operator cannot provide local bus services outside of the terms of an enhanced partnership arrangement, irrespective of how the bus operator is funded. The only exemption is for community bus services provided under section 22 of the Transport Act 1985.

These standards can apply in a specific geographical area set out in the enhanced partnership scheme. For example, it can require all local bus operators running services in that area to participate in a defined multi-operator ticketing scheme. Or standards can apply to individual bus routes. For example, it can specify limits on the frequency of local bus services on that route.

Interests declared
The Member has declared that they have interests which may be relevant to the subject matter of this question.