To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the impact of the time taken to announce funding to support bus services beyond 31 March 2021 on the number of bus operators that are giving notice to the Traffic Commissioner to terminate their routes.
22 February 2022
The Department is urging operators to avoid pre-emptively deregistering services. Representatives of the bus sector, local authorities and the Office of the Traffic Commissioner agreed to extend the expiry (reversion date) for local bus services currently operating under a temporary variation, from 31 August 2022 to 31 December 2022. Operators in England and Wales may continue applying for temporary variations to their services using the existing short notice periods (7 calendar days’ notice to the Local Transport Authority and a subsequent 28 calendar days’ notice to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner) until 18 March 2022. This has been extended from 28 February 2022.
Discussions are ongoing regarding measures to support the sector beyond April.
To help support the sector, the Department is providing a £29m uplift to Bus Recovery Grant payments this financial year. This is in addition to the £226.5m initially made available at the start of the scheme in September 2021, and over £1.5bn in emergency funding since the start of the pandemic.