Lets talk about supported transport services

Closed 11 May 2011

Opened 1 Mar 2011

Feedback updated 27 Mar 2013

We asked

For suggestions on how the Council could do more for less, how routes could be changed to increase passenger numbers, grow services and improve how things are done. Who should receive the services, and suggestions for services that no longer serve the community well and could be reduced?

You said

Suggestions included various services to remove and to keep. Reduce ‘subsidy’ on Severn Beach rail line. Stop supporting the commuter ferry (retain cross harbour ferry). Don’t subsidise night buses. Remove shopper services or get supermarkets to contribute. Prioritise services that get people to work and college. Services should be available to the most vulnerable in society. Many of the people most affected have no access to the internet and so were unable to respond to the consultation and the Council should continue to support Community Transport.

We did

We saved £1 million on the supported services budget with only a small reduction in services as First Group decided to operate many previously supported services on a commercial basis. We stopped the commuter ferry, and from next year the night buses will be more extensive but require less support. We prioritised travel to work and college. We continue to work with bus companies to develop and improve services including reliability and accessibility of the commercial services. We decided to retain the grant funding for 2012/13 for Community Transport providers. We will review the need for these services and develop a commissioning strategy for future funding, using the Enabling Commissioning Framework and consultation to reach those most affected.


Most of Bristol's public transport system is run by private operators as commericial services.  The council has little or no say over routes, timetables or fares.  In addition to this, the council supports some transport services to supplement the commercial services.  Last year, the council spent £5.2 million on these supported transport services including park & ride, night flyers, early / late day services, and door-to-door services for disabled people.  Savings need to be made and so the council wants to hear your ideas for making this investment work harder for the city and ideas for doing more for less.

Why your views matter

The council is having to reconsider how it delivers services in the light of the reductions in central government funding.  We need to review public expenditure and look for ways we can save money and look for more-for-less opportunities.  The council has to save around £1 million from the public transport budget in two years.  Some of our current service provision also needs to change to adapt to new circumstances.  In an attempt to get more-for-less and attract new competition to the Bristol bus market, the council has tendered these services.  This conversation seeks to update and share information with citizens and listen to their opinions and suggestions on how we can reconfigure services.


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