How we're improving bus services
Central Bedfordshire Council: Notice of intent to develop an Enhanced Partnership for Bus Services (published Wednesday, 30 June 2021)
The National Bus Strategy for England, published on 15 March 2021, formalises the expectation that local transport authorities and bus operators will work in partnership to deliver better bus services in their areas.
Following Section 138F of the Transport Act 2000 and Section 9 of the Transport Act 2017, Central Bedfordshire Council gives notice of its intention to prepare an Enhanced Partnership for bus services (“the Proposed Partnership”).
It is envisaged that the Proposed Partnership will apply to the whole of the Central Bedfordshire Council’s area.
All operators of registered local bus services which operate within the Central Bedfordshire Council area will be invited to participate in the development and delivery of the Enhanced Bus Partnership.
For further information please contact our Passenger Transport Team at email@example.com.
Notice under Section 138F (1) (c) of the Transport Act 2000 that our Enhanced Partnership Plan and scheme have been prepared. Notice published 18 November 2021
Central Bedfordshire Council’s Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme have now been prepared. The Plan and Scheme, as prepared, and subject to securing funding from the DfT, will deliver the Council’s Bus Service Improvement Plan by setting operating standards, expanding the bus network, enhancing electronic and printed service information for passengers, developing multi-operator, multi-journey ticketing, improving buses, increasing priority for buses and greater liaison between operators and the Council.
Our plan for developing bus services
Our Bus Service Improvement Plan was published on Friday 29 October 2021.
Following the government’s announcement in March of a new National Bus Strategy (Bus Back Better) we undertook a two-week consultation to better understand what would encourage people to use buses more often.
Through discussions with bus operators and other stakeholders, and reflecting the results of the consultation we have developed our Bus Service Improvement Plan, which contains high-level visions and key interventions. This is the first step towards an Enhanced Partnership being made between us and local bus operators. Once developed, the Enhanced Partnership will be charged with taking forward the agreed plan and measures, subject to government funding being secured over the next few years, to ultimately grow bus patronage and the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Bus Service Improvement Plan measures
Short term (2021 to 2022/23)
In the short term, we plan to:
- launch ‘Get on Board’ campaign to encourage bus travel, post pandemic restrictions
- lower fares for young people
- introduce later, earlier and Sunday journeys
- centralise production of all timetables, bus stop publicity and a single app and web portal to access all bus providers’ service and fares information
- create a passenger charter and a bus users’ forum
Medium term (2022/23 to 2024/25)
The medium term, we plan to:
- introduce multi-operator, multi-journey ticketing and fare capping
- develop a strategy to install more real-time passenger information displays and passenger shelters
- install systems to give buses priority through traffic signals
- recruit a team of ‘Ambussadors’ to help passengers during their journeys
Long term (2025 and beyond)
In the long term, we plan to:
- develop rural interchange hubs, allowing more connecting journeys to be made
- provide zero emission buses on the Luton-Dunstable busway network, to benefit the wider area
What happens next?
The next part of the process is to create an Enhanced Partnership between us and bus operators.
An Enhanced Partnership is an agreement we (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
Once approved and published, the Enhanced Partnership Plan should be read in conjunction with the Central Bedfordshire Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP).
If you have any questions, please email us.