The bus market outside London is deregulated and decisions regarding service provision is primarily a commercial matter for bus operators. Decisions on subsidised bus services are a matter for individual English local authorities, in the light of their other spending priorities.
However, my Department provides around £40m of Bus Subsidy Operators Grant (BSOG) directly to English local authorities for local bus services, of which Durham receives around £347,000. BSOG plays an especially important role in protecting services in rural areas by helping extend the bus network, providing residents with vital links to local services.
The Bus Services Act 2017 introduces a number of new tools to help local authorities improve local bus services in their area. Through partnership arrangements we have enabled local authorities and bus operators to work constructively to provide better services for passengers.