How much additional funding is being offered to local councils to run their own bus services, excluding the £500 million long-term funding for bus infrastructure?
How much has the Government predicted each council would need money-wise, to run their own bus services?
How much money for this project has been handed out so far to each council, breakdown of this?
In answer to your questions, no additional funding has been offered to local transport authorities to run their own bus services following the commencement of section 34 of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019. The ability to run their own bus services is one of a range of tools available to local authorities under the 2019 Act and sits alongside their existing ability to subsidise services.
You may be interested to know that we are introducing a Community Bus Fund (CBF). This will help support local transport authorities to explore the full range of options set out in the 2019 Act, including local authority run bus services. We have allocated £1 million in the Scottish Budget for development of the CBF in 2022-23.
The recent Resource Spending Review allocated £46 million to the CBF for the remainder of this parliament, with a further £30 million allocated in the Capital Spending Review. There are a variety of ways in which the Fund might be used and we will work with our partners on the design of the fund. In administering the fund, we and local transport authorities will need to observe competition, procurement, and subsidy control rules. The CBF complements our broader package of long-term investment in bus. Scottish Government support for bus services is provided in addition to the money which local authorities normally receive through the general revenue grant to secure additional bus services which are socially necessary but not commercially viable in their own right.
Turning to your second question, provisional costs to run a local authority run services can be found in the Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment which was published on the Transport Scotland website. A link to the document can be found at impact-assessment-partial-bria-june-2021-bus-services-consultation.pdf (transport.gov.scot). Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.
In response to your final question, no money has been handed out so far to enable local transport authorities to implement the new power under section 34 of the 2019 Act. However, as mentioned above, we are investing in the bus network to support long-term growth, which delivers an affordable and sustainable alternative to car use.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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