Decision Maker: Officer Decision
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Ipswich Buses Ltd operate a bus service (Service 14) between Ipswich town centre and the Gippeswyk Park area. Following changes made in September 2016, this service now only operates 3 return journeys per day on Saturdays, which operate 2 hours apart. The Council has become aware of complaints from members of the public that this level of service is insufficient and therefore the Council has given consideration to subsidising an additional 3 return journeys per day on Saturdays so as to result in an hourly service between approximately 10am and 3pm.
The cost to the Council for these additional services is £145 per day of operation and, following consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Portfolio Holder for Environment & Transport, it has been decided that the Council should subsidise these additional 3 journeys on a trial basis in order to ascertain the level of usage.
The main alternative option would be not to subsidise the additional journeys and leave the service as it is. 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 journeys for this bus service on a trial basis.
Decision: To exercise the Council’s powers under the Transport Act 1985 and The Service Subsidy Agreements (Tendering) (England) Regulations 2002 (as amended) to enter into an agreement to provide service subsidies with Ipswich Buses Ltd in respect of Service 14 for the provision of an additional 3 return journeys per day on Saturdays for a trial period (up to 6 months).
Reason: As it is considered that the current service level on this bus service is not as frequent as is desired on Saturdays and a trial provision of additional journeys will help to ascertain whether there is a case for such journeys to be provided on a longer-term basis.
Publication date: 18/01/2017
Date of decision: 23/12/2016