The Rhondda Cynon Taf Council cabinet agrees to implement further subsidised bus travel schemes

The Rhondda Cynon Taf Council cabinet agrees to implement further subsidised bus travel schemes

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council reported the budget gap for next year is £38.3m, this is an incredibly challenging time for Local Government, with all councils having to make difficult decisions on their finances. We face increased costs like every household across Rhondda Cynon Taf, with energy bills for schools, care homes, leisure centres and community buildings forecasted to rise by 300% next year. Food inflation is increasing the cost of the meals we provide to schools, care homes, and households via the Community Meals service. Overall, our costs for 2023/24 are estimated to increase to a level that is £38m higher than the funding available for next year. “RCTC proposed a 3.5% increase in council tax.


The Council’s Cabinet has agreed on proposals to introduce subsidised bus travel schemes across Rhondda Cynon Taf during key periods of the 2023/24 financial year. 

A £1 maximum single bus fare for all travel between July 24 and September 3 (inclusive) has been agreed and, depending on the success of this scheme, a repeat of this subsidy could be implemented between December 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023 (inclusive). 

In addition, Cabinet also approved the introduction of a 1-year 7-day bus travel pilot scheme for all post-16 school and college students that are in receipt of a public bus season ticket to attend school or college between Monday, September 4, and the end of the respective 2023/24 academic year.

Earlier this year, Cabinet Members agreed to allocate approximately £500,000 of funding obtained from the Shared Prosperity Fund toward a trial scheme that saw free bus travel for all journeys within RCT during the month of March.

A review of the results of the scheme demonstrated an average increase of patronage of 35% across all services and operators from February 2023 numbers.  It was also noted that all operators reported a significant increase in youth travel across the County over the trial period.  The subsequent April 2023 data showed that bus travel had maintained a 7% increase, highlighting that there is a desire for the public to take advantage of an affordable and reliable bus service offer.

Following on from the success of the free travel pilot scheme, the Cabinet has now agreed to allocate up-to a further £985,000 (approximately) of Shared Prosperity Fund grant money to progress the specific schemes – further details of which are detailed below.

£1 Maximum Single Bus Fare Scheme

Following Cabinet’s decision, a £1 maximum single bus fare for all travel on journeys that start and terminate within the RCT County boundary will be in place between Monday, July 24, and Sunday, September 3, 2023 (inclusive).  There would be no time restrictions applied, so reduced fare travel would be available from the first to last service each day on all scheduled bus services (regardless of operator).  Services that start or terminate outside of the County Boundary will be excluded and subject to the full regular fare.

Subject to the outcomes of the School Summer Holidays scheme, a repeat of the scheme could be introduced for the month of December (Dec 1 to Dec 31 inclusive) to help support the Shop Local at our town centres.

7-Day Bus Travel for School/College Students

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