Consultation: Bus Back Better Enhanced Partnership

About our Bus Back Better Enhanced Partnership consultation

Consultation closed: Monday 24 January 2022 (responses had to be submitted before 11:59pm on Sunday 23 January 2022)
Consultation opened: Thursday 6 January 2022

In March 2021, the government announced its new National Bus Strategy Bus Back Better. This aims to make significant improvements to bus services across England by expecting local transport authorities and bus operators to work together to deliver a better service and encourage passengers back to using buses.

The government has pledged £3 billion in funding across the country to help deliver these plans and we're aiming to secure a fair share of that funding.

Along with our bus operators, we'll work with local communities to deliver a fully integrated network with simple, multi-operator tickets, more bus priority measures, the same high-quality information for all passengers in more places, and more bus services that keep running into the evenings and at weekends.

As part of the strategy, there are two key requirements: 

  • to develop a Bus Service Improvement Plan that provides an overarching document setting out the ambitions of us and our stakeholders for improving bus services across Central Bedfordshire
  • to create a legally binding Enhanced Partnership or franchise arrangement between us and local bus operators (due to the rural nature of provision in Central Bedfordshire, we have given notice of our intention to form an Enhanced Partnership to set strategic priorities through longer-term Enhanced Partnership plans and schemes that support sustainable travel and modal shift over the next 10 to 15 years)

In October, we created and consulted on a Bus Service Improvement Plan, which has been approved by our Executive Committee. The valuable feedback from the Bus Service Improvement Plan consultation in 2021 has helped in the formation of the Enhanced Partnership so far. Now, we are consulting with residents on the Enhanced Partnership that will commence from April 2022. This consultation is about the next part of the process: our draft Enhanced Partnership (Word)

The Enhanced Partnership is intended to deliver the vision and ambition set out in our Bus Service Improvement Plan 2022 to 2027.

An Enhanced Partnership is an agreement between us (as the local transport authority) and local bus operators to work together to improve local bus services. It includes a clear vision of the improvements that the partnership is aiming for and accompanying actions to achieve them. We have formal responsibility to form the partnership and can only proceed with proposals if we have the support and input of local bus operators and other board members.