Latest Public Sector News

30.09.19

Government announces Britain bus revolution

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has announced today (30 September) plans for ‘Superbus’ networks in Britain.

The cutting-edge plans will see bus fares fall and service frequency rise with new all-electric buses.

The government package, worth £220m in the first year, includes better passenger information and contactless payment available on all city buses.

The West Midlands and elsewhere will feel the benefit of ‘express lanes’ and more frequent services in rural areas where bus service numbers have fallen in recent years.

Apps are being developed that can be used to keep passengers in the loop regarding bus routes, fares, timetables from all different operators across England all in one convenient place.

Part of the announcement is the committal to the UK’s first-ever long-term bus strategy, included in this is support for local authorities who want to create franchised services in their areas.  

Cornwall will be the first county to feel the Superbus benefits, where pilot projects will go ahead from next year to improve quality, frequency and capacity of rail and bus services, with an integrated transport system for the region.

A disproportionate number of people on lower incomes uses buses over any other form of transport.

Cornwall was chosen as a county with significant deprivation and social exclusion, with people who struggle with the cost and unreliability to get to work. The new scheme hopes to connect people with jobs, education and social opportunities.

The Superbus networks will continue to pop up throughout the country, with priority given to similar places that suffer from under-achieving public transport.

With city buses switching to wireless electric vehicles and country buses becoming hybrids, pollution and operating costs will be dramatically reduced.

This is something many local councils are keen to tackle because of climate change targets they need to reach after many declaring a ‘climate emergency’.

The long-term funding package will be outlined in the 2020 spending review. It is set to show plans to support local authorities wanting to pursue London-style bus systems in their regions.  

Greater Manchester is in the most advanced stage of this proposal, and are due to consider adopting a proposed franchised model in 2020.

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