We are working in partnership with bus companies and other partners to produce the plan, and this was agreed at a meeting of the council’s cabinet on 14 October 2021.
Earlier this year the government published a new National Bus Strategy which sets out a framework for how bus services can recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and a vision for future improvements across England.
The strategy placed a requirement on the council and bus companies in the area to work together to create a Bus Service Improvement Plan. Working with bus operators, district and borough councils, bus passenger groups, disability groups and other special interest organisations a consultation was held over the summer months, which asked the public what they wanted to see to improve bus services.
More than 2,000 people responded to the consultation, with those responding wanting:
- bus services to more areas
- more reliable and frequent services
- more affordable fares
- better information on services including more electronic roadside real-time information signs at bus stops
Now a range of initiatives will be submitted to the government in the new plan. These include
- improvement in the frequency and hours of operation of key bus routes and the introduction of more demand-responsive transport services
- a major upgrade in the quality of the roadside bus stop infrastructure, including a large increase in the number of real-time information signs
- the introduction of more joined-up ticketing arrangements and better value options particularly for young people
Cabinet Member for Highways Assets and Transport, Councillor Kewal Singh Athwal, said:
“This is an ambitious plan and if we get the government funding, then we could make major changes to bus travel in the county.
“In asking for this investment we have a chance to do something really positive and make bus travel a much more attractive proposition for many more people.
“It also fits in with our climate change agenda to enable more people to use public transport rather than using their cars.
“I’m hopeful that the government will look on our plans favourably and award us the money so we can make bus travel a much better option for many more people in Derbyshire.”
The bid will be submitted to the government by the end of October and it will ask for between £95 million and £105 million over a 5-year period from 2022 to to 2023.