Review of subsidised bus services and the Deeside Shuttle
A review of the Council’s bus subsidy service is due to take place, subject to
Cabinet approval, to ensure that the County’s bus services remain sustainable,
cost effective and meet the needs of local communities. The proposed review
will be discussed at Cabinet on Tuesday (19 May).
Flintshire County Council currently subsidises 30 bus routes that would not be
available commercially, at a cost to the Council of around £1 million a year.
The routes typically supported by the Council are rural, early morning,
evening, Sunday, Bank Holiday and some school transport services, or for
operating services via certain villages or housing estates.
The Council also subsidises the work-based Deeside Shuttle bus service, which
provides transport on demand to enable workers to access employment on the
Deeside Industrial Park. The levels of subsidy for the Deeside Shuttle are
high, at a cost of over £6 per passenger, which is not sustainable for the
Council. Passenger numbers on the Deeside Shuttle service have increased
significantly over the last few years, such that the Council considers that the
service could become a scheduled service with a fixed timetable and route,
instead of a pre-bookable flexible service. The Council will be engaging with
commercial bus operators with a view to introducing and developing new
commercial bus services into the Park before the current demand responsive
The Council has good partnership arrangements with commercial bus operators,
who provide good transport links between key towns and settlements. The Council
will be working in partnership with these operators to encourage further
commercial growth on these core routes; some support may also be provided where
identified to ensure a regular and high quality service that links the key end
destinations with various collection points along the route. Identifying the
required level of service on each of the core routes will be the first element
of the review, which will be carried out at a workshop with County Councillors
and Town and Community Councils.
Where subsidised bus services are either reduced or withdrawn, the Council
proposes to work with Town and Community Councils to deliver local community
based transport arrangements that are sustainable and meet the County Council’s
priorities. Through the introduction of an Integrated Transport Unit (ITU), the
Council will then be able to act as a central enabling service, providing
support and advice to local community groups and organisations; bids will be
made for central funding to develop community transport links and the
infrastructure needed to support transport services.
Councillor Bernie Attridge, Cabinet Member for Environment said:
“This review has become necessary due to the unprecedented level of financial
savings the Council is having to make. We will be working closely with local
communities and partners to ensure that the level of financial support given is
affordable and sustainable, while at the same time ensuring that we provide a
modern and efficient service that best serves the interests of Flintshire and
If Cabinet approves the measures, the responsive element of the Deeside Shuttle
Service will end on 31 August 2015. The results of the bus subsidy review will
be presented to Cabinet in July 2015.