Section 36 Agreements providing for service subsidies
60.This section amends the criteria by reference to which authorities must decide which tender to accept in the case of tenders for additional subsidised public transport services under section 9A of the Transport Act 1968 and section 63 of the Transport Act 1985. It introduces a new “best value” test by requiring authorities to have regard to economy, efficiency and effectiveness and also to have regard to their relevant general policies, and environmental issues, namely the reduction or limitation of traffic congestion, noise or air pollution.
61.This section also removes the present constraint (imposed by section 92(1) of the 1985 Act) that in exercising powers to subsidise those services authorities must not act so as "to inhibit competition". It is replaced with a new duty to have regard to the interests of the public and of operators. This is intended to make it easier for authorities to subsidise additional service frequency in appropriate circumstances by removing them from the requirement to consider whether competition might be inhibited.