Warwickshire County Council’s Cabinet were updated today on plans to improve bus services across the County over the coming years.
As part of central government’s Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus (BSIP+) funding, the Department for Transport has announced that Warwickshire County Council will receive £2.072m revenue funding grant in 2023/24 with the potential for a further £2.072m grant being awarded for 2024/25, leading to a total £4.144m investment.
At the meeting of Cabinet, approval was given for the list of prioritised capital and revenue measures and activity and the associated delivery plans that are taken from the Warwickshire Bus Service Improvement Plan (WBSIP) and that are supported by the Warwickshire County Council Cross Party Working Group that was created to look at bus service improvements.
This will provide a gateway enabling WCC officers to seek funding to secure delivery of further bus improvements across the county to achieve the aspirational outcomes set out in the WBSIP as follows:
- A fully integrated bus services on the Warwickshire Bus Network;
- The availability of simple multi-bus operator tickets, multi-modal tickets and ‘tap on / tap off’ fare payment, like London;
- Bus priority measures on the local highway network;
- High quality and standardised information for all passengers;
- Better turn-up and go (demand responsive transport) service frequencies that keep running into the evening and at weekends;
- Increasing bus use through behaviour change activities that encourage modal shift; and
- Financial support for bus operators.
Cllr Jan Matecki, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Transport and Planning said: “The newly approved measures to improve bus services across the county over the next two years, funded through the government’s BSIP+ funding, are fantastic news for our residents, businesses and the diverse range of bus operators that we have in the Warwickshire.
“Bus passenger numbers have noticeably increased since the pandemic, however, there is work to do in further increasing bus patronage to pre-pandemic levels and beyond. Buses are the most utilised public transport mode in the county and remain a fantastic and viable option for travel across Warwickshire. Not only are they cost-effective – particularly at the moment with the £2 single capped adult fare pilot – they are also much better for the environment, promote social inclusion and provide more health benefits compared to car travel.
“We recognise that work has to be done to improve bus services across the board if we are to encourage more of our residents to commit to the modal shift of using our fantastic network of buses and are confident that the measures approved today are a positive leap in that direction.”
Throughout September, the Council will be supporting Bus User UK’s catch the bus month 2023 and more details of this can be found here: https://bususers.org/catchthebusmonth/
Find out more about public transport in Warwickshire: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/public-transport
Find out more about Warwickshire County Council’s demand-responsive transport services: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/public-transport/indiego