THE council is calling for communities to help shape spending plans for a £1.7 million funding pot to put the wheels on more bus services across Westmorland and Furness. 

The Department for Transport has awarded Westmorland and Furness Council £1.7 million of Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus (BSIP+) funding to enhance services across the area in 2024/25.

To ensure that services supported by the latest tranche of BSIP+ funding meet the needs of communities and lead to well-supported provision, the Council today launches a consultation offering residents, businesses and visitors the opportunity to shape spending plans.

Work has already started to devise a list of 35 suggested bus routes the monies could fund. The consultation offers the opportunity for people to comment on the routes and positively impact services from years to come.

Councillor Neil Hughes, cabinet member for transport and environmental services, said: “The £1.7 million funding awarded to our council, supports us in taking a significant step towards enhancing bus provision across Westmorland and Furness.

“Living in a rural area like ours, providing more frequent, enhanced services will open the door for our residents and visitors to choose bus as their preferred way to travel and create more enjoyable, sustainable journeys for all.

“It is the Council’s ambition to allocate the funding towards creating a network of well-supported bus services that moves us closer towards achieving our net-zero ambitions. We recognise that in order to do so, supported routes must meet the needs of communities and visitors across the area.

“I encourage you to take part in our consultation, whether you currently use bus transport or you aspire to, to make sure we get the most out of every pound that we spend.”

Those who wish to take part can complete the online Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus Funding Consultation.

Six drop-in sessions have been arranged at various locations on bus routes in April, providing communities the chance to engage directly with the Sustainable Transport Team and share their perspectives.

Sessions will be held on the following dates from 10am to 2pm in Barrow, Grange, Kendal, Penrith and Ulverston:

  • Thursday 4 April - Penrith Library
  • Wednesday 10 April - Westmorland Shopping Centre, Kendal
  • Thursday 11 April - Grange Library
  • Thursday 25 April – The Coronation Hall, Ulverston
  • Friday 26 April – The Forum, Barrow-in-Furness.

For those that are unable to attend during the day, an online event has been arranged on Wednesday 24 April from 6pm to 7pm. To receive a link to join, please email

The council is also exploring the possibility of holding additional public meetings at locations across the area.

Paper copies of the survey will be available to complete at Westmorland and Furness Council Libraries in Barrow, Grange, Kendal and Penrith from Monday 25 March until the end of the consultation period on Tuesday 30 April.

Residents and visitors to the area have already started to reap the benefits of an initial £412,130 BSIP+ funding granted in 2023/24 as new services launched earlier this month.

Key connecting routes in Kendal have been maintained, and services restored as a part of the new timetable in Alston, Arnside, Appleby, Grange, Penrith, Sedbergh and Windermere. A further £178,000 of ring-fenced monies has gone towards supporting the transport of workers in the hospitality and tourism sector, with the frequency increased of two bus services from Keswick to Penrith, and Barrow to Windermere