Council finalises bus deal

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DURHAM County Council has agreed to subsidised bus contracts worth £3.3million.

It has completed the retendering for subsidised services in the south, centre and east of the county.

The contracts cover services that would otherwise not operate because they are not economically viable for bus companies, but which provide vital services for rural and smaller communities.

It includes totally subsidised daytime services, contracts which extend the operational hours, days or route of commercial services and those that provide a single additional journey on a specific route.

About 80 per cent of contracts have now been retendered.

Successful tenders have gone to Arriva, Go North East and some smaller operators.

Coun Neil Foster, the council’s cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “There has been considerable competition for the new contracts and a number of services will now change to a different operator.

“However, despite a wide variation in the tender prices, we have been able to ensure the overall cost is in line with last year.”

A further round of tendering for subsidised services in the north and west of the county will take place next year.

A report on the process will be presented to the cabinet at a meeting at County Hall next Wednesday.