In a written parliamentary answer to a question from the Department for Transport (DfT), it has been confirmed that 10 English areas have agreed bus devolution settlements with the Government.
Lord Rosser, Shadow Spokesperson for Home Affairs and for Transport, asked how many regional devolution settlements – either already agreed, or under negotiation, included the devolution of transport powers. The spokesperson also asked about the impact of the settlements on local bus services.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the DfT (jointly with the Home Office) answered with the following:
“The Government has agreed devolution settlements with 10 English areas. Each of the settlements contained provisions for the devolution of transport powers and responsibilities, from bus franchising to the establishment and management of key route networks, based on the ambitions and needs of each individual area.
“The Government is in active discussions with many other areas, however, proposals are developed and led by local areas and the decision to release information regarding the content of these discussions is a matter for the local area to decide, not the Government. As individual negotiations conclude and devolution deals are agreed, local areas may decide to publish the final deal documents on the GOV.UK website.
“The Bus Services Bill will enable the implementation of the commitments made in devolution settlements to provide authorities with a greater say over the bus services in their area. It will be up to authorities to determine whether and how they implement changes to the way in which local bus services are provided.”