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Community Transport Schemes

Volume 406: debated on Monday 9 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what financial support his Department has given to community transport schemes in each year since 1997. [117528]

A wide range of community transport services have since 1 May last year been eligible for the first time to receive Bus Service Operators Grant from my Department. 800 community transport organisations have already been accepted as eligible under this scheme. Expenditure in the scheme's first financial year, 2002–03, was £0.6 million and is expected to rise to £3 million this year.Community transport has also benefited significantly since 1998 from support of projects submitted successfully by local authorities to our Rural and Urban Bus Challenge competitions. We estimate that around one-third of the 400 projects supported under these schemes have a community transport element. In total over £120 million has been awarded in Challenge grants to local authorities. However, it is not possible to identify separately the proportion of this total paid by authorities to community transport bodies.In addition, my Department has since 1994 supported the Community Transport Association's Information and Advice Service. Until 2000–01 this grant was £70,000 annually and has been £100,000 annually since then.