With the news that the Shoppa Hoppa service was coming to the end of its trial run we were given some information on the costs and usage of the service, but as we said not all details were given, and thus we placed a Freedom of Information request to gather further information for the period from March-October this year.
We asked what the overall cost of the Shoppa 101 project, including staffing, to the council was and had the reply stating “The Average Monthly Operating Cost: £1640.99 (March 2012 – October 2012) This figure is the cost to the Authority of providing the service less the income received through fares.”
We have a detailed breakdown of usage figures:
March – 158 passengers (6 days of operation)
April – 951
May – 1064
June – 1022
July – 1129
August – 1036
September – 1076
October – 905
Plus a breakdown of the totals of fares collected each month:
March – £16.40
April – £32.10
May – £68.30
June – £49.00
July – £77.80
August – £61.70
September – £53.00
October – £40.10
Total value of concessionary fares collected each month, based on applying the Welsh Government Modifying Factor:
March – £184
May – £1222
June – £1221
July – £1168
August – £1086
September – £1157
October – £1093
We asked how much of Shoppa 101 related costs were covered by Section 106 monies, and were told “The on-going operating costs of the Shoppa 101 service is funded entirely by Section 106 monies. Income received through fares payed is offset against this amount.”
Wrexham.com also asked about the cost of the street works on High St specific to the Shoppa Hoppa bus and were told “The works completed on High Street were undertaken in response to concerns raised by Members of the Town Centre Forum and the Disabled Access Forum over issues relating to access (i.e. restrictive nature of the existing Traffic Regulation Orders and lack of width resulting in obstruction).
In consultation with Members of the relevant forums, local businesses and statutory consultees (e.g. emergency services), plans were agreed which involved relaxing the existing traffic regulation orders, widening of the existing highway and creation of specific loading and disabled parking bays. To save further disruption to businesses in the future, the decision was taken to resurface the entire length of High Street. The consequence of undertaking these planned works allowed for the re-introduction of bus services into High Street.
The total cost of the works on High Street totalled £77,482.42. £60,000 of which were funded by Taith (North Wales Regional Transport Consortia) by way of a specific grant.”
Our question about the cost of the bus itself also involved Taith, as it was procured via them three years ago, but its current value is ‘circa £45,000’.
Prior to the service launching a report stated for the budgets “Based on commercial bus operating costs, provision of the new town centre bus link has been calculated at £35,685 per annum with the proposed works on High Street estimated at around £35,000 to £40,000.”
You can read our report from April as the Shoppa Hoppa launched by clicking here.
You can read the report prior to the start of the Shoppa Hoppa on the Council’s website by downloading this .doc file.