Agenda and draft minutes

Executive Member for Regeneration - Wednesday 23rd February, 2022 11.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber

Contact: Susie Blood 

No. Item


Tees Valley Combined Authority Enhanced Bus Partnership Plan and Scheme pdf icon PDF 323 KB

Additional documents:


The Director of Regeneration submitted a report, the purpose was to approve that Middlesbrough Council become party to the ‘shell’ Enhanced Partnership agreement, noting that there was no direct obligations at this stage.


The report required a decision as entering in to a regional bus partnership was strongly encouraged by the Department for Transport (DfT) as part of the devolution arrangements with Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA). Having a formal arrangement will be looked upon favourably for future funding opportunities, so having full sign up from the Council is imperative.


The partnership also affects Council strategy and policy. The partnership requires close working with TVCA, neighbouring authorities, and bus operators to achieve a better service provision for the travelling public. This strategic approach would help to identify key improvements to be implemented, and assist in attracting funding to the region. 


Within the report it provided background information, advising that since the first national lockdown in March 2020, the Government has provided financial support to the bus sector to ensure the continued provision of services despite significantly reduced passenger numbers. This recovery funding was intended to support the bus sector’s return to financial sustainability.

In March 2021, the Government published Bus Back Better: national bus strategy for England. The strategy set out the long-term vision and opportunity to deliver better bus services for passengers across England. It should be noted that TVCA, the five Tees Valley local authorities and the Tees Valley bus operators have an long-standing history of collaboration and the work being progressed in response to the national bus strategy builds upon this. 


There were two requirements that must be met, to be eligible for potential future funding to support bus provision:

·        submit a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) by 31 October 2021. The BSIP should set out a vision for delivering a step-change in bus services. A local public and wider stakeholder engagement process was undertaken during the development of the BSIP to inform priorities and this targeted both users and potential users of bus services. The Tees Valley BSIP was published in accordance with the deadline and can be viewed at Tees Valley BSIP;

·        implement an Enhanced Partnership (EP), which is a statutory agreement between TVCA, the five Tees Valley local authorities and the Tees Valley bus operators. The EP is made up of two parts: the EP plan, which mirrors the content of the BSIP; and the EP Scheme where the detailed requirements and actions for services and infrastructure in the area are set out specifically.


The original deadline was for submission of the final scheme to the Government by the 31 March 2022, but this has recently been amended to submission of a draft scheme by the end of April 2022. However, given how advanced Tees Valley already is in the statutory process, the intention is to continue to work to the original deadline.


The BSIP and EP have been structured around a five-point delivery plan:

1)     decarbonisation – one of the first regions in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21/11

The decision will come into force after five working days following the day the decision(s) was published unless the decision becomes subject to the call in procedures.