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Partnership journey to better bus services starts

Plymouth’s bus services are set to be redesigned following the creation of a partnership between the Council and bus operators intended to make buses a natural choice for everyone.

An executive decision has been taken today by Councillor Jonathan Drean, Cabinet Member for Transport, to allow Plymouth City Council to start the process of forming an ‘Enhanced Partnership’.

This decision comes after positive, informal, discussions with the bus companies, about the benefits to Plymouth of the partnership.

Earlier this year, the Government published the National Bus Strategy for England ‘Bus Back Better’. The strategy is intended to deliver cheaper, more frequent and more reliable bus services for passengers.

As part of the strategy there is an expectation that Plymouth City Council, in partnership with local bus operators, forms a statutory Enhanced Partnership, where both the Council and bus operators work together to improve local bus services.

Councillor Jonathan Drean, Cabinet member for Transport said: “We need to rebuild confidence in our public transport system and to help it and the city recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This is a great opportunity to work together on a plan that will get more of us out of our cars and onto the buses.

“This new administration has committed to ‘encourage and help facilitate the greater use of public transport, walking and cycling, as a more sustainable way of getting around, working with the bus operators to provide the services and routes people want.’

 “If we are serious about reducing our carbon footprint and delivering on our Climate Emergency actions, making it easier and more attractive for people to use buses has got to be the way forward. There’s a lot to think about, but this is exciting stuff.”

 All bus companies operating registered services within the city boundary have been notified of our intent to form an enhanced partnership and the notice can be found here.

The next stage in the process is the development of a Bus Service Improvement Plan, by 31 October. The plan will set out the vision, and action plan, for delivering the improvements to public transport that is required by the National Bus Strategy, ahead of the start of the Enhanced Partnership on 1 April 2022.