More than 1,700 people answer call to help shape bus services

Last year the government published its National Bus Strategy ‘Bus Back Better’, setting out the vision and opportunity to deliver better bus services for passengers across England.

Within this strategy, Gloucestershire County Council, as the Local Transport Authority, published its Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), outlining the council’s strategic vision for bus services in the county.

It covers bus times and frequency, bus priority, zero emission buses, fares and tickets, passenger experience and information and branding.

The county council is working on an enhanced partnership with bus operators in the county to set out how they will deliver the improvement plan, which residents were invited to help shape by taking part in a survey. Improvements will be dependent on the amount of funding that will be allocated by the Department for Transport (DfT).

The survey closed in early February 2022 and attracted 1,734 responses, around 95 per cent of which were from Gloucestershire residents, with the remainder mainly from councillors or organisations.

Responses were spread across all six of the county’s district council areas and around 50 per cent of responses were from regular bus users.

The survey asked what would encourage people to use the bus more often and the most frequent answers were:

  • Additional buses in the morning and evening
  • Direct services
  • More reliable services

An enhanced partnership agreement between the council and local transport operators has been drafted, outlining how they will work together and fulfil the aims of the BSIP.

At a meeting next Wednesday (30 March), cabinet is being asked to delegate authority to the director of Economy, Environment and Infrastructure to develop these plans further. A draft will then be shared with the DfT.

Cllr Philip Robinson, cabinet member responsible for public transport, said: “I would like to thank everyone who took part in the survey – we had a great response from people from all areas of Gloucestershire and their feedback will help us deliver improvements.

“Sustainable, well run bus services will help us reach our carbon reduction targets, as well as boost the economy and provide vital services for vulnerable residents.”

You can read the full cabinet report here.

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