Bus Subsidy Ring-Fenced (Revenue) Grant

​The Local Authority Bus Subsidy Ring-Fenced (Revenue) Grant is paid by the Department for Transport to local authorities in place of the Bus Services Operators Grant previously paid to bus operators for running services under tender to local authorities.

The grant may only be used for the purposes of supporting bus services (including community transport services run under a section 19 permit), or for the provision of infrastructure supporting such services in our, or a neighbouring local transport authority's area.

In each of the years 2018, 2019 and 2020 Northamptonshire County Council received £215,193.

As part of its 2018 to 2019 budget, the County Council took the decision to withdraw its budget for supported bus services, and used the 2018 grant to allow those services to be continued to the end of the summer term in July 2018 before being withdrawn.

The 2019 and 2020 grant funding was used by the County Council to match fund services which were supported by parish or town councils and developer funding.

In 2021, North Northamptonshire Council received £105,654 and West Northamptonshire Council received £109,528. This funding was used to match fund services which were supported by parish or town councils and developer funding, and to continue to run services which had been withdrawn by commercial bus operators.

The Department for Transport requires the Local Transport Authority to complete an annual survey setting out how it uses the grant. No survey was requested in 2020 due to Covid.  

Our response to the surveys are available to view below.

Supported Bus Services Fund

As part of the better deal for buses announced in September 2019, the Department for Transport provided Northamptonshire County Council with £277,654 of funding for supported bus services in 2020 and 2021. 

The County Council intended to use £150,000 of the funding to support services which would otherwise have been withdrawn:

​Bus numberRoute
​8​Corby - Geddington - Corby
​16​Brambleside - Kettering - Thrapston - Raunds
​18 (now X3)​Corby – Thrapston
​33/A​Northampton – Hartwell – Milton Keynes
​59​Welford – Market Harborough
​60​Northampton – Welford
​X91​Milton Keynes – Silverstone – Towcester - Brackley

The remaining £127,000 was to be used to support marginally profitable commercial services which were at risk of withdrawal should patronage not return quickly once the emergency Government financial support for commercial operations ends.

Because the impacts of the Covid pandemic lasted longer than expected, and more emergency Government support was available than initially expected, the funding was used in a slightly different way.

£161,714 of the funding was used to fund the following services between March 2020 and March 2021:

​Bus number​Route
​8​Corby – Geddington – Corby
​18 (now X3)​Corby – Thrapston
​59 ​Welford – Market Harborough
​60​Northampton – Welford
​87​Northampton – Towcester – Brackley
​X91​Milton Keynes – Silverstone – Towcester – Brackley
​505​Brackley – Bicester

The remaining £115,940 of funding is being used by North Northamptonshire Council and West Northamptonshire Council to continue to fund these services after April 2021. 

Covid-19 Bus Service Support Grant

The Covid-19 Bus Service Support Grant (CBSSG) and CBSSG Restart Grant were paid by the Department for Transport between 17 March 2020 and 31 August 2021 to ensure that bus services can continue to run while passenger numbers were reduced due to Covid-19. 

The majority of the grant is paid to commercial bus operators, but a proportion of the grant is paid to local authorities to support tendered services. Northamptonshire County Council and its successor unitary authorities used this funding to support the continued operation of the following services:

North Northamptonshire Council

​Bus number​Route
​8​Corby – Geddington - Kettering
​16​Brambleside - Kettering – Thrapston – Raunds
​R1/R2/R3​Rushden Town Services
​X3 (previously 18)​Corby - Thrapston

West Northamptonshire Council

​Bus number​Route
​33/33A​Northampton – Hartwell – Milton Keynes
​59​Welford – Market Harborough
​60​Northampton – Guilsborough - Welford
​87​Northampton – Pattishall – Towcester – Silverstone – Brackley
​X91​Brackley – Silverstone – Towcester – Milton Keynes
​505​Brackley - Bicester

From 1 September 2021 this funding was replaced by the Bus Recovery Grant paid to commercial operators and Local Authority Bus Recovery Grant paid to local authorities.