CBSSG Funding support for 33 Service

In March 2020 the Department for Transport (DfT) introduced the COVID-19 Bus Service Support Grant (CBSSG) Restart Funding which was available for commercial bus operators in England, outside of London and Greater Manchester. The objectives of fund were to support commercial bus operators in England in recognition of the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) on their revenue due to reduced patronage. Payments were aimed to ensure that operators can provide service levels of up to 100% of pre-COVID-19 levels without the operator making a profit or a loss.

In Blackburn with Darwen we applied for funding to support the 33 bus service. The 33 started up in January 2017 on a commercial basis following encouragement from ourselves and Darwen politicians and it operates Monday to Friday with 6 trips Blackburn to Darwen and 5 Darwen to Blackburn. The route includes parts of Hoddlesden, Pothouse and Chapels, Lower Darwen, RBH then direct to Blackburn and is 12km in length.

Funding received for DfT CBSSG Funding 2020/2021

17th March to 8th June 2020 – £1,310 for subsidised bus services lost income

9th June to 3rd August 2020 – £5,114 for subsidised bus services lost income

4th August to 28th September 2020 – £5,108 for subsidised bus services lost income

Total 2020/2021 CBSSG funding £11,532.

Bus Service Improvement Plan 

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and Lancashire County Council have worked in partnership, with local bus operators, to jointly develop a Bus Service Improvement Plan for their areas.

This document is the first step into delivering on the National Bus Strategy and will be key to delivering on bus priority and improvement measures that will, over time, make public transport the mode of choice in  Lancashire.  It provides the technical basis for the Enhanced Partnership that each authority intends to make with its bus operators by April 2022.

Our Bus Service Improvement Plan will be updated annually to enable us to remain flexible to changes and demands.  The document below updates on our plan from 2021 and details our prioritised activities following our successful bid for Bus Service Improvement Plan funding from H M Government.


Enhanced Partnership Agreement with bus operators

An Enhanced Partnership is a formal agreement between a local transport authority and local bus operators to work together to improve local bus services.

Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme

On 25 June 2021,Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council gave approval to proceed with the development of an Enhanced Bus Partnership.  The commencement of this was confirmed through the Notice of Intention to prepare an Enhanced Partnership Plan and accompanying Enhanced Partnership Scheme, as required and set out in section 138F of the Transport Act 2000 and published on the same date.

The Enhanced Partnership is an agreement between Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and the bus operating companies providing services in the Borough made under section 138 of the Transport Act 2000 (as amended).

The Enhanced Partnership document has two sections:

  • Enhanced Partnership Plan – a summary of the Bus Service Improvement Plan outlining the challenges, objectives, targets and outlines the bus service and infrastructure enhancements to achieve the ambition, subject to funding;
  • Enhanced Partnership Scheme – describes the Enhanced Partnership governance arrangements and the outputs in terms of requirements to be met by operators, and the facilities and measures to be provided by local authorities.

The Enhanced Partnership will be responsible for directing available funding from central government and elsewhere to deliver improvements to bus services and infrastructure in Lancashire to help achieve the ambition, objectives and targets in our Bus Service Improvement Plan.

The decision for the Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and its operators to enter into an Enhanced Partnership was approved at Executive Board on 9th June 2022:

Decisions 09th-Jun-2022 18.00 Executive Board.pdf (blackburn.gov.uk)

The Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme (December 2022) has been accepted and approved by the EP Management Board and can be found by clicking the link below:



Take a look at our information on buses to help you save money and see what is available in your area.

Timetabled information is now available for the following services:

Travel Choices