The Government issued a pre-determined revenue funding allocation to local authorities on receipt of a successful bid application. Somerset’s bid was successful and we have been awarded our allocation of £443,070 to spend during 2020/21 and 2021/22 as set out in our application.
The Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport took a decision on 13 March 2020, to submit a bid for funding to extend a number of existing services and to introduce a number of new services across the county. The bid was to fund these proposals for a combination of one and two year periods, with extensions generally being funded for one year and new routes for two years.
However, the funding bid was submitted before the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result of the pandemic coupled with the Government’s message to ‘stay at home’, the public bus network and patronage was greatly reduced. Therefore, it was not considered to be the right time to invest in services.
Following approval from the Department for Transport (DfT), the funding allocation has been rolled forward to the 2021/22 and 2022/23 financial years and will be reviewed as we begin the recovery stage to ensure that funds are still allocated in the most appropriate way.