New contracts for seventeen bus services have been awarded by Bath & North East Somerset Council to maintain current services across the local area.
Councillor Joanna Wright, cabinet member for Transport Services, has approved the new contracts, which will see the non-commercial bus network remain intact.
In addition, two commercial bus services that had been withdrawn will be replaced.
The previous contracts expired on 31st August and a procurement process was carried out for new contracts.
Fares on certain rural bus services that have not changed for many years will rise slightly to help offset higher operating costs.
Councillor Joanna Wright, cabinet member for Transport Services, said: “Keeping bus services running smoothly is a priority for the council and is in line with our commitment to ensure that our residents have sustainable alternatives to car travel.
“Despite a significant increase in costs, we want to meet the needs of urban and rural communities that are not served by the commercial bus network.
“With financial contributions from the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), we have been able to maintain these bus services – including two that were under threat of withdrawal by the operators.”
Currently, Bath & North East Somerset Council holds joint responsibility with WECA for non-commercial bus services.
WECA is developing a Bus Strategy that will set priorities for how bus revenue support is allocated in the future, and the council is assisting with that project.
The supported bus services are: 11, 12, 175, 177, 179, 185, 636, 640, 663, 664, 665, 668, 683, 752, 754, 757 and 768.
The commercial services that have been replaced are the 42 (Odd Down P&R to the Royal United Hospital) and 228 (extension to Ralph Allen School).