Do you need help with Bus Service Improvement Plans?


Following the publication of the National Bus Strategy last week, and the announcement of the £3b. “Bus Revolution” fund, Transport Consultancy SCP has looked at what is required in a very short period of time to access this essential funding.

Simply this requires that by October 2021 all bus operators need to publish a Bus Services Improvement Plan and deliver this through the Bus Services Act 2017’s Enhanced Partnership model.

Do you need help with Bus Service Improvement Plans?
These should:

  • Set targets for journey times and reliability improvements, reported publicly
  • Identify where bus priority/BRT measures are needed, and how traffic management can be improved to benefit buses.
  • Set out pressures on the road network, air quality issues and carbon reduction targets which improved bus services could address, and set out actions working with
  • Operators to transform the local bus fleet to zero emission.
  • Drive improvements for passengers by:
    − Setting targets for passenger growth and customer satisfaction, again publicly reported
    − Setting out plans and costs for fares, ticketing and modal integration. Initially, we expect LTAs and bus operators to develop plans to enable multi-operator ticketing, where plans do not exist. Over time we will expect LTAs to work across transport modes towards enabling a multi-modal ticketing scheme. DfT want fares to be equal to single-operator products and contactless payments capped.
    − Considering the impact of roadside infrastructure (e.g. bus stops and shelters) on passenger safety, security and accessibility.
    − Considering how a coherent and integrated network should serve schools, health, social care, employment and other services.
    − Take into account the views of local people.
    − Commit to a Bus Passenger Charter (BPC) that sets out what passengers can expect.

Be developed by LTAs in collaboration with local bus operators, community transport
bodies and local businesses, services and people.

Cover the LTA’s full area, all local bus services within it, and the differing needs of
any parts of that area (e.g. urban and rural elements).

Focus on delivering the bus network that LTAs (in consultation with operators) want
to see, including how to address the under provision and overprovision of bus services and buses integrating with other modes.

Set out how they will achieve the objectives in this strategy, including growing bus use, and include a detailed plan for delivery.

Be updated annually and reflected in the authority’s Local Transport Plan.

Influence the share of the £3bn of transformation funding each LTA receives. Furthermore only operators part of EP’s will be eligible to the BSOG replacement (subject to consultation).

Bus Service Improvement Plans will need to explain:

  • How current services meet or fall short of the expectations listed above.
  • How the improvements needed will be delivered through the Enhanced Partnership/franchising schemes and the LTA’s and operators’ investment plans.
  • The financial support that the LTA is providing for subsidised public bus services, listing the numbers of routes and route mileage supported.
  • How traffic management and investment are used to prioritise buses. In Mayoral Combined Authorities (MCA) this will include the extent of the MCA’s role over a Key Route Network and how that is used to prioritise bus services.

SCP has extensive experience working with both Local Transport Authorities and Bus Operators and can help negotiate partnerships to achieve goals collaboratively. SCP’s capabilities include highway design including bus priority lanes.

If you need help with Bus Service Improvement Plans Get in Touch today and we’ll discuss your plans and how SCP can support you in delivering towards the ‘bus revolution’.