Below are answers to questions you may have about the subsidised bus network and our proposed options.  If you have any other questions, please email busreview@staffordshire.gov.uk


Historically, we have subsidised some services where there are not enough passengers using them or income made to cover the running costs – this is the subsidised network. This county council subsidy can cover an entire service, additional journeys or additional stops.

Many councils have reduced, and some have even stopped, subsidising public transport. Around £1.3m will still be spent subsidising journeys in Staffordshire.

The county council has a statutory duty to consider the social need to provide a level of subsidised journeys and how much can be budgeted to do this.

In 2018/19 £1.3m will be spent subsidising travel.


We are looking at delivering the best option we can for your money and have put together four potential options of how the £1.3m could be spent.

At this stage Option 1 is our preferred option as most current journeys will be subsidised at the lowest average cost per journey to taxpayers.


The options were developed after looking at those routes that support people making employment, education and health journeys, how much the subsidy is, how many people use a given service and the areas they serve.

The range of options consider whether we aim to protect as many current bus journeys but at a lower average cost, through to only subsidising dial-a-ride services at a higher cost per passenger journey.

All bus journeys in Staffordshire are made on buses run commercially by private companies or voluntary and community transport schemes. The 4 options only look at local bus journeys made on private buses which are currently subsidised by the county council and also the dial-a-ride services.

Full details of the options and the services likely to be affected under each option is available.

Although the county council may no longer subsidise a journey a private bus operator may still consider running it if they could make it commercially viable.


We are consulting on 4 options all of which will see a number of journeys likely to be limited or, in some cases, stopped.

The vast majority of bus services (more than 90%) are provided by private bus companies without council subsidy and we will continue working with them to explore if there is any possibility of continuing the services in some areas.


The options we are looking at include ones where the current Dial-A-Ride services will be retained in part or in full.

We are also working with the community and voluntary sector to support them to explore the possibility of setting up community run services, explore external sources of funding and help to promote existing community based transport initiatives.

This consultation is only about the public bus journeys run by operators and the Dial-a-Ride services we subsidise. No other transport is affected.
The eligibility for free home to school transport is not affected. If an eligible pupil currently uses public buses which may be affected by this review, alternative transport such as school buses will be arranged.
A number of councils have already reduced the amount they spend on subsidising travel and some have decided to stop subsidising travel completely. In Staffordshire £1.3m will still be spent on funding journeys.
No. Whilst the amount of money we can spend on subsidising bus journeys is not part of the consultation, your feedback will be incorporated into the final recommendation which will be presented to the county council’s cabinet in autumn 2017.

The consultation will run for eight weeks. It will begin on Monday, 24 July and will end at midnight on Sunday, 17 September.

You can get copies of the questionnaire at:

Your feedback will help us to decide on the best option that will be presented to the county council’s cabinet in autumn 2017. This is when the final decision on which option to implement will be made.

Stage 1

Consultation starts on the 24 July 2017.

Stage 2

Consultation ends on the 17 September 2017.

Stage 3

Feedback is reviewed and a proposal is put together for the best option.

Stage 4

The county council’s cabinet reviews the proposal and makes the final decision.

Stage 5

Changes to journeys are implemented in the spring of 2018.

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