Ambitious £40m bus improvement plan submitted to government
Telford and Wrekin Council has submitted an ambitious plan to overhaul current bus services in the borough, as part of a national bus improvement strategy.
The council’s bus service improvement plan (BSIP) asks for £40m to deliver a comprehensive package of high quality measures following the launch in 2021 of Government’s long-term plan, backed by £3 billion of funding.
Depending on the final allocation, cheaper fares, improved facilities and more frequent services connecting residential with key employment areas and improving rural routes are some of the main priorities following public consultation in July, where both existing and non-bus users gave their views.
Other areas for consideration included bus shelter and highway changes such as building a network with faster links between key centres, improved services connecting different hubs and even demand responsive services – essentially on demand services when and where people need them.
Cabinet Member for Economy, Housing, Transport and Infrastructure, Councillor David Wright said: “This is a deliberately ambitious proposal which the government have specifically asked for on how we would like to see bus travel transformed for Telford and Wrekin.
“The team involved has worked incredibly hard gathering views and putting a proposal together that will improve not only the way services are run but also how we access and pay for them.
“National government really does needs to provide significant levels of ongoing funding if we are going to deliver improved services for local people.
“We will carefully prioritise funding to focus on the needs of residents and businesses, shaping the service to suit their needs.”
Further proposals include plans for replacing almost half the existing vehicles with new zero-emission vehicles as part of the council’s plans to develop a zero-emissions fleet over the coming years - including the introduction of battery-operated vehicles.
The Council has worked with local operators to develop the plan through what is termed as an ‘advanced partnership’ which ensures important skillsets are present, ensuring the overall success of a strong network.
For full details of the BSIP please see here – link will be live after 12noon on Friday, October 29.