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Council explains major bus purchase

Created on 22/01/2020 @ 12:02
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

Powys County Council (PCC) bought 20 buses for companies that run subsidised local bus routes, but have given a full explanation.

A question will be asked at full council tomorrow (Thursday) about the reasons why a £3 million grant was used by PCC to buy 20 new buses for private companies.

This will be the first question asked by newly elected Cllr Les Skilton who has tabled: “I understand Powys received a grant of about £3 million from the Welsh Government. Part of this grant was used to purchase 20 new buses for operators within Powys for public transport.

“Can the portfolio holder inform me and members, have Powys purchased second-hand buses from some of these operators? Could you please confirm if this is correct and why?”

Portfolio Holder for Finance, Countryside and Transport, Cllr Aled Davies, said: “The Council was awarded Transport Grant funding by the Welsh Government to purchase buses that are provided as part of the local bus service contract. That exists between suppliers and the Council to provide services on behalf of PCC.”

Cllr Davies said that the contract allowed PCC as supplier to buy buses and they went for that option.

Cllr Davies continued: “The reason for this is because this reduces the revenue contribution the Council makes to the contractor to provide the service. The buses are, and remain the property of, the Council throughout the duration of the contract. At the end of the contract, they will be disposed of by the Council.

“Any money achieved by their disposal will be returned to the Council. The buses are operated by bus companies that successfully bid to operate the contracts.

“The vehicles purchased by the Council were the same vehicles that the contractors had ordered when the contracts were awarded in July 2018 – so in effect the Council paid for the vehicles rather than the Contractor.”

Bus companies that have received these buses are:

Tanat Valley – Three

Celtic Travel – Three

Stagecoach – 14

At tomorrow’s full council meeting, Cllr Skilton will be given the chance of asking an extra question on the topic.

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