More than £1m spend on improvements to bus services across North Northamptonshire to be discussed next week

07 September 2023

Image of seats on a bus

A proposed round of bus service improvements worth a total of £1.14m will be discussed by North Northamptonshire Council next week. 

Members of North Northamptonshire Council’s (NNC) Executive will meet on Thursday 14 September at 10am to consider the funding for a host of improvements to facilities and services to buses across North Northants.

A large section of the money, released by Government, is part of a national initiative called the Bus Service Improvement Plan which aims to improve local bus services. This money, together with grant funding, will be targeted towards actions which will deliver the best overall outcomes for bus services across North Northamptonshire and will be received in two tranches.

  • £569,412 for June 2023 to April 2024, and the other £569,412 for April 2024 and April 2025. 

If given the go ahead, the money will be spent as follows: 

  • To continue to fund existing bus services where they represent value for money 
  • To maintain essential bus services for local communities 
  • To increase the frequency of buses 
  • To restore services withdrawn since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic where there is a reasonable prospect of the service becoming commercially viable 
  • To fund future improvements 

Next steps 

Following approval at the Executive meeting, the next steps will be to work with local bus operators to understand any reductions in commercial services which they intend to make.  

Alongside this, work will be undertaken to explore other options for service improvements. In the coming months a proposed list of service interventions will be drawn up and tender prices sought from operators.   

“Buses have long been a lifeline for many people in towns, cities and rural areas, particularly the elderly and the disadvantaged. But too many services are at best, patchy, and at worst, non-existent. The pandemic accelerated the trend of declining usage and journeys are now at a historic low. This money is extremely welcome and we are delighted it may be on its way."Cllr Matt Binley, Executive Member for Highways, Travel and Assets


“This funding  will have a positive impact for local communities by reducing isolation and supporting local economies. 

“People up and down the country deserve a clean, reliable, and affordable public transport system.  Retaining these vital services is fantastic for local residents, who will be able to continue get to work, go shopping, attend medical appointments and visit loved ones for more easily.”  
Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council