Safer, Greener & Cleaner Places Cabinet Member – Minutes – 5 April 2018

27 (27) TRANSFORMING TRANSPORT – CALLCONNECT AND SUBSIDISED BUS SERVICES – The Director: Operations submitted a report recommending improvements to local public transport services for the benefit of customers.

The council was required statutorily to review the level of need for public transport across North Lincolnshire. The aim was to ensure that services were designed to best meet the reasonable needs of customers and that they remained affordable by seeking to develop and promote services so that they could run commercially and without the need for public subsidy.

The CallConnect service was introduced in 2016 and initially funded as a pilot via the Government’s continued investment. CallConnect was a flexible bus service and operated in the rural areas of North Lincolnshire.

CallConnect complemented local scheduled bus services in a way that best provided local residents with access to a comprehensive public transport service. In addition, with good connections to other frequent services, CallConnect helped towards achieving an integrated public transport network across North Lincolnshire that best met the reasonable needs of local residents.

In October 2017, the CallConnect service had 3,091 registered users. There were 2,510 journeys recorded in that month and usage continued to grow. In particular, usage was increasing month on month in the Brigg, Caistor, Ridge, and the Barton and Ferry CallConnect areas.

Due to the success of the CallConnect service, the council prioritised investment to ensure that the service continued to be a major part of the councils transport network and was in operation for the longer term. An independent review concluded that it was appropriate in this area but had also suggested that to provide best value for money the council now needed to integrate all aspects of the existing subsidised public bus services to ensure that public transport services provided an effective offer for customers.

The aim was to achieve an integrated and sustainable public transport system which best served local people at an affordable cost. To these ends, the council had established that CallConnect provided a more flexible service for residents in areas that were currently poorly served by traditional bus services. As such, CallConnect was a key element towards transforming transport in the area, ensuring that the service offered was the most effective and efficient in meeting the needs of customers.

The council proposed a number of provisions to further transform local transport. These were detailed in the report at paragraph 2.7 and also suggested some changes to current services to improve the offer for customers and improve strategic connectivity.

Resolved – That the proposals for delivering improved local transport services as set out in the report to come into effect at the earliest practicable opportunity be approved.

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