HAMPSHIRE County Council has given the green light to bus contracts in Romsey and Eastleigh.

The tender includes four services in Romsey and one in Eastleigh.

In addition to a new service in the New Forest, the contracts will cost a total of £372,940. The Public bus budget is due to fund £112,591, with a £105,971 contribution from the Home to School Transport Budget for Service 634 and, in part, for Service 35. The remaining £154,378 will be met by the Local Transport Fund.

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The executive lead member for universal services, Cllr Nick Adams-King has approved the proposed tender to continue providing bus routes in different areas of Hampshire.

Overall, this tendering round represents a £154,378 higher cost a year than the previous contracts.

The services were last tendered in 2016 and have now been bid for via the Dynamic Purchasing System for the Provision of Passenger Transport Services. Due to the elevated costs, the county council only offered one-year contracts.

The new services are due to start from October 31, for one year, at a total cost of £306,663, which includes a contribution of £105,971 from the Home to School Transport Budget for Service 634 and in part for Service 35.

£140,137 is funded through the Local Transport Fund, and the remaining £60,555 is to be met by the Public Bus budget.

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The services will offer:

  • Service H1/H2 & T3/T4 (Romsey) – will remain the same;
  • Service 35 (Romsey) – will remain the same as currently;
  • Service 634 (Romsey) – will remain the same as currently and will continue to be supported by the Home to School Transport Team;
  • Service E1/E2 (Eastleigh) – currently operates Monday to Saturday hourly departure from Winchester. It is proposed that the new service will work Monday to Friday only with a two hourly service.

In May 2023, the Department for Transport announced that Hampshire County Council was awarded £3.6m of BSIP+ (Bus Service Improvement Plan) funding.

The terms and conditions of the funding have yet to be announced; when these are known, a decision-day report will be taken to Cllr Nick Adams-King.

At the moment, the county council cannot use this funding for the six new services.