Grant reductions meant Lincolnshire needed some creative transportation solutions
Local authorities in the UK have faced considerable financial challenges over the last 10 years, with grant reductions of up to 35% on their service budgets. Lincolnshire County Council needed to reduce the total cost of special education needs (SEN) transport by up to £5 million in 2017-18 and—at the same time—improve the service offered to the public through integration.
The study involved liaison with Council departments, passenger transport providers, and procurement bodies. We identified the needs and demand for services of all types, reviewed the strategic procurement of transport, and analysed the scope for delivering those services more efficiently. We conducted detailed estimation of the costs and savings under different scenarios, explored the benefits of further integration, and identified barriers to implementation.
Our work concluded with an options appraisal and the production of a detailed implementation plan to deliver a pilot scheme under the preferred future model with the potential benefits and savings clearly profiled and calculated. After our review, a number of service changes were made, including bringing some transport services back in house, retendering commercial contracts, and implementing new alliances. The savings target was not wholly achieved (because of policy and equity concerns), but savings of over £2 million were identified—with services for clients broadly maintained.
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