National Bus Strategy for England
Following the publication of the Bus Services Improvement Plan, BCP Council, in partnership with local bus operators undertook consultation (29 November 2021 to 7 January 2022) on the proposed 11 key actions in the plan. Results from this consultation will guide the priorities based on local needs as BCP Council and the bus companies enter into a formal Enhanced Partnership. A draft of the Enhanced Partnership Plan and Enhanced Partnership Scheme will be published here by 30 June. Statutory consultation will then be undertaken with key stakeholders prior to agreement and publication of the final Enhanced Partnership Plan and Enhanced Partnership Scheme. This partnership, from April 2022 will progress the improvements required to enhance local bus services and encourage more residents and visitors to use buses in line with the National Bus Strategy.
Bus Back Better Consultation - Have Your Say
This consultation is now closed. A summary of the responses is available here. This information will be used to shape how the National Bus Strategy is delivered locally.
BCP Council Bus Service Improvement Plan
As part of the commitment to the National Bus Strategy the BCP Council Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) has now been compiled by the required date of 31 October 2021. The plan has been developed in full partnership with the local bus operators, setting out a high level ambitious vision to deliver a step change in local bus services and significantly increase the number of people travelling by bus. The plan details the current bus offer locally and then provides suggested proposals for improvement, established jointly by the bus companies and BCP Council. These improvements will be subject to relevant funding as part of the National Bus Strategy.
The BSIP provides the foundation for the Enhanced Partnership. Updates to the intended scheme will be provided in the next few months in advance of the start of the partnership for April 2022.
National Bus Strategy for England
Ambitions to improve bus services across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are at the heart of a proposal approved by BCP Council. The council has agreed to create an ‘Enhanced Partnership’ with local bus operators to improve bus services across the region.
This will secure continued access to national emergency funding for the bus sector through the Government’s Covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant, which is worth £27.3m a week nationally. It will also ensure the council’s eligibility for any new sources of funding from the Government’s £3bn National Bus Strategy.
An Enhanced Partnership would see the council and local bus operators working more closely together to improve services. Early engagement has already taken place with operators to ensure a productive partnership could be developed to deliver improvements for passengers.
The National Bus Strategy aims to transform bus services across the country ensuring buses are more frequent, more reliable, easier to understand and use, better co-ordinated and cheaper. It requires local transport authorities to commit to establishing Enhanced Partnerships, or another option, by the end of June 2021. The partnerships must be delivered by April 2022. The Government also requires local transport authorities to publish a Bus Service Improvement Plan by the end of October this year, detailing how they propose to improve services.
Attracting more people to use local bus services is the joint aim of the bus operators and BCP Council. Buses support the council’s sustainable environment objectives, helping to tackle the climate and ecological emergency as well as reducing traffic congestion and improving accessibility for residents and visitors.
Notice of Intent to Prepare an Enhanced Partnership Plan and Schemes
On 22 June 2021 the Director of Transport and Engineering, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council used his delegated authority to approve proceeding with the development of an Enhanced Partnership. The commencement of this is confirmed through this notice of the intention to prepare an Enhanced Partnership and accompanying Enhanced Partnership Schemes, as required and set out in section 138F of the Transport Act 2000.