Financial support on the agenda

Action to mitigate rising inflation and further support for region’s bus network on next week’s Finance, Resources and Corporate Committee meeting.

The impact of rising inflation on major investment programmes and plans to help support local bus services will be discussed at West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Finance, Resources and Corporate Committee next week.

A report prepared ahead of next Tuesday’s meeting states that ever-increasing rates of inflation, especially on construction costs, is putting pressure on the budgets of some of the region’s biggest investment schemes, including the West Yorkshire plus Transport Fund.

Members of the committee will be asked to consider future plans to support bus services in West Yorkshire against a background of fewer passengers and the withdrawal of government support for bus services in October, and to approve plans to transfer funds from last year’s budget underspend to help support the region’s bus network.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire and Chair of the Finances, Resources and Corporate Committee, said: “We are living in unprecedented times with inflation rising at the highest rate seen in 40 years, which is having a significant impact on costs.

“The Combined Authority is not immune to those pressures, and we have to be upfront about the impact that is having on our budgets and the difficult decisions that will need to be made.

“I want to do everything I can to ease the cost of living burden for passengers, which is why we will be reducing the costs of a single journey to £2 at most later this year, as well as reducing the price of the multi-operator day ticket to £4.50. We’re playing our part, now it’s up to government to support us and passengers in this difficult time.”

Earlier this month, the Combined Authority’s Transport Committee heard that up to 62 routes could be affected and 11% of the current network would be financially unviable if government funding to operators was withdrawn, with the potential to affect communities across West Yorkshire.

The Finance, Resources and Corporate Committee is made up of councillors from across the region and Mark Roberts, the chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership.

For more information about the committee, including dates of future meetings, visit our Governance and Transparency section.