Decision Maker: Officer Decision
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Ipswich Buses Ltd have recently informed the Council that, following the withdrawal by First Eastern Counties Buses Ltd of their Services 60, 60A and 60E earlier in the year, that they intend to change their Service 3 with effect from Monday 5th October 2020 so that on Monday to Saturday evenings it will operate to the Greenwich area of Ipswich (Holbrook Road) as Service 3E rather than to Futura Park (John Lewis/Waitrose) in order to ensure that the Greenwich area will be served at this time (it is separately served by Ipswich Buses Service 1 Monday to Saturday daytimes). However, the last departure of Service 3E from Tower Ramparts Bus Station will be at approximately 22:00.
The Council has decided to fund the provision of an extra return journey of Service 3E departing from Tower Ramparts Bus Station at approximately 23:00 Monday to Saturdays (excluding bank and public holidays) for a 2 year period. The cost for this is £6,009 per annum and will be arranged directly with the operator of the service, Ipswich Buses Ltd, via a service subsidy agreement made under the provisions of the Transport Act 1985 and The Service Subsidy Agreements (Tendering) (England) Regulations 2002 (both as amended).
The main alternative option would be not to subsidise the journey in question. Whilst there is a financial cost to the Council of subsidising bus services which has to be taken into account, in this case the Council’s policies on encouraging the use of sustainable transport are considered to justify the subsidy of the specific service, at least for a 2 year experimental period. The Council already subsidises the last return journeys of a number of other bus services, Monday to Saturday, that depart from Tower Ramparts Bus Station at approximately 23:00. The service subsidy agreement will include a 3 month break clause so that, if circumstances change, the Council is not obligated to provide the level of subsidy for the entire period.
In accordance with the Transport Act 1985 and The Service Subsidy Agreements (Tendering) (England) Regulations 2002 (both as amended), to enter into a service subsidy agreement with Ipswich Buses Ltd to provide the bus service referred to in this form from 5th October 2020 to 24th September 2022 inclusive but subject to the Council being able to withdraw from the agreement with 3 months notice.
Publication date: 06/10/2020
Date of decision: 25/09/2020