The 32 projects benefiting from this money are the winners of the first Urban Bus Challenge, launched by the DTLR in June. Today's announcement is the first tranche of£46m in funding over the next three years.
'People need decent public transport links to get to their jobs, to shops and to the doctors. Transport has an important role to play in improving people's quality of life: this Urban Bus Challenge has been introduced to encourage transport authorities to link communities with the services they need.'
The minister, on a visit to Leeds today as part of his 'Working with Towns and Cities' initiative added:
'The range of projects involved - including new flexible, demand responsive services as well as enhancements of the existing bus network - is encouraging. I am particularly pleased to see the number of projects which will link more people to employment opportunities.'
Sally Keeble, minister for local transport, added:
'I congratulate all those authorities who have been successful with their bids. This year's competition was heavily over-subscribed so clearly we could not support all those submitted. But I look forward to seeing bids from other areas, including London, being increasingly successful in future competitions.'
The winning schemes were selected from a total of 146 projects submitted by English local authorities, passenger transport authorities and Transport for London.
Among the 32 projects to receive funding are:
West Yorkshire: East Leeds Employment Link (£633,000) which aims to improve access to employment opportunities from deprived wards in East Leeds. It involves two new bus services operating on a timetabled and demand responsive basis.
Telford and Wrekin: Integrated Taxi Network (£615,013), linking residential areas with centres of employment and transport interchanges by a shuttle bus service into three industrial estates, and development of a town-wide taxi-sharing scheme.
Northumberland: Connecting Blyth (£1,074,000) aims to giver wider travel choice with better access to local facilities and employment. It will mean better buses and improved journey times, along with improved infrastructure and integration between bus services and other forms of transport.
Plymouth: East/West corridor access (£190,000), will serve main employment centres with improved services timed to match shift patterns and off-peak use of vehicles to enhance the ShopMobility scheme.
1. The Urban Bus Challenge competition was launched in June this year (see DTLR News Release 290, 21 June). The criteria and bidding guidance for the competition are on the DTLR website.
2.£46m has been allocated for this scheme over the period 2001/02 to 2003/04. There will be further rounds of the competition in 2002 and 2003, which will award further funds up to this total. Today's announcement delivers the government's Urban White Paper commitment to improve urban bus services.
3. A total of 62 transport authorities bid for a total of 146 projects, costing£70m, in this year's competition.
4. The 'Working with Towns and Cities' initiative was announced by Lord Falconer on 20 September. It meets a commitment in the Urban White Paper that the government would work closely with selected towns and cities to help and support delivery of their urban renaissance visions. The initiative involves 24 partner towns and cities across England. They are Leeds, Sheffield, Barnsley, Newcastle, Gateshead, Middlesbrough, Liverpool, Blackburn with Darwen, Manchester, Nottingham, Leicester, Norwich, Kings Lynn, Swindon, Reading, Brighton & Hove, Bristol, Plymouth, Croydon, Newham, Medway and Southend, Birmingham, Stoke on Trent. The outcomes of the initiative will be taken to the Urban Summit in autumn 2002.
Authority Total Cost Title of Bid Approved
Blackpool£809,225 Lifestyle line. Bus service for residents of two deprived wards to areas of employment and the hospital.
Bristol £63,000 Lawrence Weston Transport Group. Bus service for residents of deprived ward to shops clinics and other local facilities.
Essex £146,000 Harlow Community Transport dial a ride scheme. Reduce social exclusion in deprived area.
Greater Manchester £682,000 Wythenshawe demand response service. Improved access to health and employment facilities.
£70,000 Call centre for demand responsive bus services. Co-ordination of demand response services.
£345,500 Oldham. Bus service access between residential area and employment area.
Halton £122,850 Daresbury Park. Provide bus service to areas of employment
£70,675 Accessible Transport. Provide mini bus to employment and training opportunities for disabled people.
Hampshire£460,700 Leigh Park Links. Demand response service providing access to areas of employment, leisure and healthcare opportunities, particularly for unemployed young people.
Hartlepool£185,650 Improved transport and infrastructure services. Extended bus service to industrial estate and provision of evening and Sunday service.
Lancashire £619,062 Skelmersdale demand responsive transit project. Provide access links to areas of employment.
Leicester£1,130,000 Community service for Braunstone. Local estate access to employment an shopping facilities.
Merseyside £624,000 Atlantic Gateway demand response service. Provide deprived wards access to areas of employment.
£480,000 Huyton/Prescot demand response service. Provide access to areas of employment.
£624,000 Kirby/Gillmoss demand response service. Provide access to areas of employment.
Norfolk £926,562 Lowestoft corridor bus. Provide improved bus and evening taxi-bus service to areas of employment.
Northumberland£1,074,000 Connecting Blyth. Improved linkage of service to provide more direct links to employment opportunities.
Nottinghamshire£373,495 Mansfield. Provide deprived wards access to employment opportunities.
Plymouth £190,000 East/West corridor link. Provide connecting services to deprived residential areas at times required by shift patterns.
South Yorkshire £335,000 Parson Cross. Community bus service to stimulate community activity and new interchange facility.
Stoke on Trent £733,500 Health. Provide demand response service connecting three wards within Stoke to new heathcentre.
Telford & Wrekin£615,013 Integrated Taxi Network. Link residential area with centres of employment and bus interchange sites through provision of shuttle bus to three industrial estates.
Thurrock£263,307 Demand response service. Provide service from deprived urban community to integrate with existing community local bus service.
Transport for London £425,000 Hammersmith. Provide improved access for staff, patients and visitors to Hammersmith, Queens Charlotte and Charing Cross Hospitals.
Tyne & Wear £431,214 West Newcastle. Provide better access to employment opportunities to deprived areas of West Newcastle.
Warwickshire£561,088 Camp Hill. Address current shortfall in transport provision to employment opportunities.
West Midlands £296,236 Birchfield. Provision of community bus to provide regular day, evening and Sunday service.
£321,750 Community transport. Provide prison visitors easier access to prisons in West Midlands.
£232,104 Dudley. Provision of school mini bus service for children and particularly disabled children who use taxis.
West Yorkshire £633,000 East Leeds. Provide deprived wards access to employment opportunities.
£240,000 Leeds Buddying scheme. Provide personal assistance, support and training to elderly and disabled people to enable them to use public transport.
Worcestershire£1,224,000 Provide a new high frequency cross-city bus service and demand responsive orbital minibus to assist four deprived wards.