Fund title: A Better Deal for Bus Users

Focus of fund/fund aims:

New funding for local transport authorities including setting up on-demand bus services in rural areas and trialling an “all-electric” bus fleet in an urban area

Application deadline:

Rural Mobility Fund & All-Electric Bus Town: Extended to 4 June 2020

Fund description:

Applications can now be made for funding being made available as part of the government’s ‘A Better Deal for Bus Users’. This is a new package of strategic ambitions, policies and funding schemes which aim to improve services, reduce emissions and encourage more people to travel by bus.

The following funds have been announced:

Rural Mobility Fund
English local authorities can bid for funding to trial on-demand bus services in rural or suburban areas. The focus of the £20m fund is on projects setting up services where they do not already exist, with existing schemes looking to expand their network or improve the services provided to local residents also being considered. Services should enhance the opportunity of residents in accessing education, employment, healthcare and other services, and enable greater social inclusion. The solution should also demonstrate diversity of passenger groups, making the solution distinct from dial-a-ride and community transport services.

All-Electric Bus Town Scheme
This is a pilot scheme to understand what can be achieved if an entire place’s bus fleet is changed over to vehicles that are fully electric, or capable of operating in electric, zero-emission mode. £50 million is available in total to support this project: this could go towards one or more all-electric bus towns/cities. Local transport authorities in England can apply – this should be in close partnership with all bus companies operating routes in the designated area.

Funding for supported bus services in 2020/21
Upper-tier local authorities in England can apply to receive their allocation of funding for supporting bus services in 2020 to 2021. The funding is to improve current supported bus services and to restore lost bus services where most needed. Local authorities are required to submit a statement of intent on how they will use the funding. Devon’s allocation is £985,778.

Superbus Fund
There is also a Superbus Fund to trial new bus networks providing low fare, high frequency services in specific towns or cities with a population greater than 75,000 – Exeter is not listed as an eligible area.

Further information: