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Local buses - all change?

06 April 2016/Categories: PTRC News


Local buses - all change?

After two decades of incremental change – quality bus corridors, voluntary and statutory partnerships, Better Bus Areas – more radical changes to the market place for local bus services are on the way.  The proposed Buses Bill, which DfT expects to present to parliament this year, would enable local authorities to shape local bus networks and service levels in a way not seen since the Transport Act 1985. Legislation is being driven by the devolution agenda, and new bus powers could be linked to an authority taking up a wider range of devolved responsibilities.

CILT’s Bus and Coach Forum has responded to DfT’s engagement with the industry, in particular to encourage clarity regarding different market forms – open market, concessions, franchising, and contract-to-fulfil. The Forum continues to engage with the operating industry and with public authorities on bus service policy, for example through industry surveys and engagement with public authorities, directly and though CILT’s Public Policies Committee. With the help of our members, we aim to influence future legislation in the wider public interest.

Irrespective of market form and who is in charge of bus services, bus service specification and front-line delivery requires expert planning and diligent staff.  The Bus and Coach Forum has developed a range of training and development schemes that promote excellence in local bus services, whilst PTRC’s new Designing for Buses in the Urban Environment course highlights common mistakes that can occur during the planning and design of bus interchanges and is designed for those who are responsible for the delivery and procurement of bus interchange or transport hub infrastructure. Visit the CILT website for more information on Bus and Coach Forum events and publications.

Keith Homer

CILT Bus and Coach Forum

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