Review of Supported Local Bus Services




Purpose of this consultation

The bus network in Cheshire East plays a key role in providing access to jobs and services by connecting people to places. 

The local bus network is made up of 37 bus services, of which 21 services are fully supported by the Council (57%), a further 8 are partially supported by the Council (22%), such as evening journeys. 8 services (22%) operate on a fully commercial basis. The Council currently spends £2.5m supporting bus services which are not commercially viable but are deemed important and socially necessary.

The last bus service review was undertaken in 2017 and much has changed in that time. In 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic struck with significant impacts for passenger transport services. This review looks for opportunities to encourage more bus use and get more services operating commercially, tweak services to improve performance and passenger uptake and get better value out of what the Council is spending.

Our objectives for this review are summarised below:

  • Maximise opportunities in areas of greatest need;
  • Ensure services complement, not compete with commercial services;
  • Develop stronger partnership working with commercial operators; and 
  • Identify opportunities to modernise flexible on-demand transport options.

The consultation will ask you some questions about your current use of bus services, the role of buses in Cheshire East and will gather your views on a range of specific proposals. We are looking for views from both current users of bus services as well as from those who don't currently use the services. 

Work done so far

As part of the bus service review, we have looked at the following data and evidence: 

  • Bus Support Criteria: to rank services based on their ability to support the economy and environmental sustainability, improve access and social inclusion and bus service performance.
  • Bus Performance Data: assess current usage and supported bus service performance across the borough.
  • Accessibility Mapping: to show the added value provided by supported services at various times of the day.
  • Gap Analysis & Developing Proposals: options for redefining the supported bus network are developed.

The supporting information is available here (PDF.2.4MB) and at libraries and customer contact centres for review and/or you can view the two page summary (PDF.167.5KB)

Submitting your comments

Consultation respondents can give feedback either by:

  • Completing this online questionnaire.
  • Emailing your comments to:
  • Completing the paper version of the questionnaire at libraries and customer contact centres and returning it in the freepost envelope provided.
  • Writing to: Research and Consultation Team, Cheshire East Council, Westfield's, Middlewich Road, Sandbach, CW11 1HZ. 

For any queries about this consultation, e.g. if you would like to receive this questionnaire in an alternative format or submit your response in a different way, please email If you do not have email access please call Customer Services on 0300 123 55 00 who will send the response on your behalf.

Please respond by Wednesday 3 July 2024. 

Once the consultation closes we will analyse all responses, produce a summary report of them, and publish this online on our consultation results webpage later this year. 

Keeping your data safe

Any personal information you supply will be used in line with the latest Data Protection legislation. To find out more about how we use your information please see our read our Privacy Notice.