DfT Funding Announcement Demonstrates Commitment to Sustaining Community Transport Services in England
CT Operators in England will benefit from a 60% increase in funding through the Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG), the Transport Secretary has announced today (Monday 23rd October). This funding is a core part of CT operator’s income and helps to keep fares down and vital services running for those in our community.
Recent studies conducted by the CTA have highlighted the crucial impact of this funding on the sustainability of community transport services. While some operators have managed to return to their 2019/2020 mileage levels, our findings reveal that nearly half of them are projected to fall short of reaching 90% of their pre-pandemic capacity by the end of 2023/2024. This demonstrates the continued significant need for support within the sector, with a staggering four-fifths of operators expressing a requirement for additional support through the Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG).
Chief Executive of the Community Transport Association, Victoria Armstrong, said:
“Community Transport plays a vital role in connecting people in our communities to health care appointments and social opportunities.
We welcome DfT’s announcement increasing the funding for Community Transport organisations and are pleased that the DfT has listened to the needs of the Community Transport sector and responded by increasing this essential funding.”
Community transport services are a life line for passengers in England and supporting our members to provide and maintain these services is a priority for CTA.
Louise Currie, CEO, Lydney Dial-a-Ride shared how this funding will support her organisation;
“What fantastic news to hear the uplift in the BSOG. This grant is a vital funding stream for our Dial a Ride service and at a time of rising costs this increase is very welcome. This ensures we can continue to help those who are unable to access other forms of transport remain active within their local communities.”
Within today’s announcement DfT also published details of the £150 million of redirected funding for next year to improve buses in the North and Midlands. The CTA is committed to ensuring that community transport receives fair and equitable funding within the upcoming plans and will be working alongside CTA members to ensure that DfT and Local Authorities consider sustainable funding to support the community transport sector.
Marie Monk-Hawksworth, CEO of the Friendly Bus shared with CTA;
“we are pleased that the DfT have acknowledged the support needed to sustain community transport and this additional funding will help towards covering the increased running costs we face. There is a continued increase in demand for our services and we would welcome the DfT working with CTA and operators to ensure there is meaningful and sustainable funding for the sector”
The CTA encourages all eligible Section 19 operators to apply for this funding. The increase will also apply to new grantees. To check if you are eligible read our BSOG funding article. The CTA will be holding a drop-in funding session for CTA members in January to advise on applications to the scheme, this will be supported by grant officers from the DfT BSOG team.
BSOG Claims from 1 July 2023: For claims from 1 July 2023 to 31 March 2025, a 60% uplift will be applied to BSOG claims from Community Transport Operators operating services under a section 19 permit. For diesel, the payment rate will increase from 35 pence per litre to 56 pence per litre, so for every £1 claimed, operators will now receive £1.60. Operators do not need to apply for the uplift. It will be applied automatically.
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