Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 26th November 2009
Title of Item/Report
EIT Review of Commissioning and Provision of Public and Community Transport
Record of the Decision
Cabinet considered a report that presented the findings of the EIT review of Commissioning and Provision of Public and Community Transport undertaken by the Regeneration & Transport Select Committee between June and November 2009.

The review formed part of a three year programme of EIT (Efficiency, Improvement and Transformation) reviews covering all services provided by the Council. The programme aimed to ensure that all services were reviewed in a systematic way to ensure that they were provided in the most efficient manner, provided value for money, and identified opportunities for service improvements and transformation. The Select Committee review examined provision of concessionary travel passes for public transport, the provision of supported services where there were no "commercial" service, and the provision of community transport. Community transport included transport to adult care facilities for those who required it, a Dial a Ride service for those that could not use public transport; and provision of home to school transport. The overall aims of the review were:

To identify options for future strategy, policy and service improvement that would deliver efficiency savings and sustain/improve high quality outcomes for Stockton residents.
Reduce the impact on the rising public transport costs whilst ensuring appropriate amount of accessibility for those residents who relied on such transport.

Following consideration by Cabinet an action plan would be submitted to the Select Committee setting out how approved recommendations would be implemented, detailing officers responsible for action and timescales.


RESOLVED that:-

1 Stockton Borough Council carry out a ‘Use It or Lose It' campaign to encourage residents to use public transport services with a view to increasing bus patronage thereby seeking to reduce the subsidy required to support these services.

2. Officers enter into dual negotiations for the English National Concessionary Scheme Concession 2010 subsidy with the alternative option of introducing a reduced fare for pass holders travelling before 9.30am Monday - Friday.

3 the cost of the Pathfinder 16 - 19 year old half fare concessionary pass be increased from 5/10 to 8 per annum for all pass holders in the first instance and this be reviewed annually.

4 the cost of seats on Home to School transport vehicles being sold to non eligible pupils be increased on an incremental basis over a three academic year period, to commence in 2010/11, from 65 to 80.00 per term in year 1 to a maximum of 100 per term by year three and thereafter reviewed annually.

5 taking into account passenger usage rates and the need to maximise vehicle occupancy whilst retaining a responsive service, the following phased approach is recommended following consultation with all relevant parties including staff, unions and customers:

(a) the hours of the Dial a Ride Service be reduced to daytime only Monday - Friday with alternative taxi arrangements on evenings, Saturdays and Sundays for those users who currently require this service to make regular journeys.

(b) the cost of the fare per trip be increased from 1.20/1.50 to 1.70 per trip

(c) one of the two Dial a Ride vehicles to provide a semi scheduled service thereby seeking to increase vehicle occupancy

(d) that, in order to provide a more flexible and responsive service to users, Officers commence discussions with all relevant parties with a view to providing the Dial A Ride service through a registered contracted taxi scheme by October 2010, subject to appropriate safeguards being put in place to retain appropriate levels of passenger care and safety.

6 if further efficiency savings need to be achieved, the following options should be considered and prioritised by Cabinet against other service efficiencies:

(a)a reduction in Boroughbus subsidised services

(b) the discontinuation of the 16 - 19 year old half price concessionary fare pass after Aug 2010 if additional government funding is ceased.

7 to ensure appropriate transport options are offered to customers, following a process of assessment that identifies this as a need, that are fair, equitable and robust.

8 Cabinet endorse that opportunities for Tees Valley or greater joint Authority provision of community transport services be examined in principle.

9. alternative management delivery models for the commissioning and providing public and community transport be explored.
Reasons for the Decision
To reduce the impact on the rising public transport costs whilst ensuring appropriate amount of accessibility for those residents that rely on such transport.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
None
Details of any Dispensations
Not applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Not later than Midnight on Friday 4 December 2009
Attachment

Date of Publication: 30 November 2009


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