Bus Review and Negotiations


Project Details

Services Provided:

  • Public Transport Strategy
  • Public Transport Cost and Operational Modelling
  • Cost Analysis
  • Concessionary Fare Reimbursement Review and Negotiation Support

Start date:

January 2017

Completion date:

May 2019


Tees Valley Combined Authority

Project type:

Public Transport

This Project won the Best Small Highways & Transportation Project award, at the 2019 CIHT Yorkshire & the Humber Awards. The judges praised the robust quality of delivery and large financial savings achieved for the client

Scheme Summary:

SCP were commissioned by Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) to carry out a number of specialist studies analysing the bus market operations in the Tees Valley area.

SCP’s Role:

In 2017, SCP completed a high level overview of the operational and financial performance of the main local bus companies and the leading bus companies comparing them to other parts of the UK in order to understand whether operators were accurately reporting profit and consider the Long term trend in operators profitability. The study looked at operating cost/revenue and scale of fares charged, and built a cost model, which allowed service providers and costs to be compared to company accounts.

In 2018, SCP undertook further work for TVCA, this time reviewing their Concessionary Payments to bus operators to review whether Tees Valley is getting a fair deal and establish whether operators were being reimbursed comparably to other parts of England and as in line with the no better, no worse off principle. This highlighted significant potential savings, but also considered the risks associated with these savings.

Building on the above two studies, SCP supported TVCA in 2019/2020 for renegotiating a concessionary settlement. SCP prepared a case for savings and developed a negotiation strategy, which was agreed by Tees Valley Combined Authority. SCP supported the negotiation between TVCA with the major bus operators, seeing to renegotiate a better deal than the £16.5m being claimed by the operators

Compared to 2018/19 bus operators sought a 4% increase in reimbursements for 2019/20, SCP secured not only a £780K saving on this bid but also a 1% reduction on 2018/19 reimbursement. The £104,310. The saving is over 6 times the SCP fees.

SCP also set out where future savings may be possible and outlined once for further joint work. The Client did not wish to undermine the local bus offer and sought to defer further negotiations into wider partnership negotiations.


SCP enabled considerable savings for TVCA, in agreement with the operators and without recourse to the appeal processes.