A six-week public consultation has been launched today (Friday, May 17) which looks at how bus services in the island are funded and delivered.

Feedback will support a review into the overall provision of bus travel in the Isle of Man, leading to a new operating model.

A ‘Bus Strategy’ will also be created in line with the Department of Infrastructure’s (DOI) wider Transport Strategy, to be delivered as a commitment within the Isle of Man Government’s Island Plan.

A key focus of the consultation is around cost and the level of subsidy provided by the island’s taxpayers.

A government spokesperson said: ‘Paying passengers currently contribute 48% towards operating costs, with the remainder being supplied through an annual subvention.

‘The subvention currently stands at roughly £5.8 million a year, rising to £8 million when taking into account capital costs such as spending on new buses and supporting infrastructure.’

The consultation asks for the public’s views on whether the level of subvention is appropriate for the island’s needs, and the role the bus service plays in promoting and enabling social inclusion.

Views are also sought on accessibility and environmental issues, the scope of activities undertaken by Bus Vannin, and the possibility of altering routes to make them more cost effective.

Infrastructure Minister Tim Crookall MHK said: ‘The Isle of Man has a bus service to be proud of and it’s crucial that reviews of this type are undertaken periodically to ensure we understand what our community expects the team to deliver.

‘The level of subvention required to sustain current service levels is high and rising – this consultation is designed to inform the development of services by presenting information, setting the scene and inviting people to tell us what they want to see.’

The consultation document is available to view on the Isle of Man Government website and may also be downloaded electronically from https://www.gov.im/consultations.gov

Alternatively, written comments can be emailed to [email protected] or by post to Bus Consultation, Department of Infrastructure, Sea Terminal Building, Douglas, IM1 2RF.

The process will run for six weeks and conclude on June 30, 2024.