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Bus Services: Subsidies

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 7 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what level of local authority grant has been made to enable the subsidy of uneconomic bus routes for (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09 in (i) Plymouth and (ii) Devon. (203697)

I have been asked to reply.

Plymouth city council and Devon county council have received Rural Bus Subsidy Grant (RBSG) and funding from the Department for Transport’s Urban and Rural Bus Challenge and Kickstart schemes. These grants have provided financial support towards new and existing bus services including those which may have previously been uneconomic. The following table shows the amounts that the two authorities received in 2007-08 under these grant schemes; projected figures for 2008-09 are also shown:

Authority

2007-08

2008-09

Plymouth city council

133,848

116,760

Devon county council

2,531,770

2,557,972

1 The reduction as compared with the Plymouth figure for the previous year reflects the completion of funding in 2007-08 for the authority’s project under the Urban Bus Challenge scheme.

Local authorities may also use funding from the Government’s unhypothecated Revenue Support Grant to support local bus services.

Bus companies operating throughout Devon also receive Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) from the Department. This is a payment equivalent to about 80 per cent. of the fuel duty that operators incur in providing local bus services. However, as BSOG is paid directly to operators, statistics are not kept for payments by local authority or geographical area.