Worcestershire County Council has submitted a bid of £86million to improve public transport.
Central Government has recently pledged £3 billion in funding across the country for local authorities to improve bus services for passengers.
Here in Worcestershire, the council's funding bid is shaped around its ambitious Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) to the Government to support the National Bus Back Better initiative.
The Bus Service Improvement Plan sets out how it will work with its bus operators and key stakeholders to transform public transport for the benefit of all its passengers.
The main purpose of Worcestershire's passenger transport network is to provide an efficient, resilient and integrated system which provides access for everyone to a wide range of services and facilities which are essential for a good quality of life.
These include employment, education, healthcare, retail and leisure.
Councillor Alan Amos, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highways and Transport said: "This is a hugely ambitions scheme designed to completely transform and expand the bus network across the whole County once and for all, and not just tinker at the edges. There needs to be considerable improvement in bus service frequencies, reliability, punctuality, and an extension of services into the evenings and at weekends.
Our Bus Service Improvement Plan aims to change the covid-induced decline in passenger numbers through the implementation of solutions to provide an environmentally sustainable, accessible and fully integrated transport network.
Public Transport forms the backbone of Worcestershire's transport networks and it is widely recognised that the most successful economies boast strong, well-integrated passenger transport networks which enable the efficient movement of people. This is particularly important in growing economies such as Worcestershire. Public transport is invaluable as it enables Worcestershire to remain 'open for business' and welcomes growth by making the most efficient use of its transport network capacity.
We will continue to work closely with our bus operators to deliver real benefits for our residents, businesses and visitors to our beautiful County. We will be ready for the future."
Some of the Council's key priorities within the plan include:
- Increased frequency of services on Worcestershire's strategic network;
- Review of Bus Priority including looking at the impact of roadworks;
- Provision of excellent Customer Service and development of a Bus Passenger Charter to improve information sharing and enhance services ;
- Provision of alternative forms of transport where appropriate including the use of Demand Responsive Transport;
- Provision of a truly integrated Passenger Transport network;
- Provision of high quality infrastructure to improve access and safety;
- Expansion of Worcestershire's Real Time Information System;
- To deliver Ultra-Low and Zero Emission Buses within the County;
- To lower fares where we can, ensuring that there is a simple fares structure in place; and
- Introduction of integrated Smart and innovative ticketing.
You can view the plan in full, by visiting www.worcestershire.gov.uk/BSIP