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Improvement plan sets out future vision for Staffordshire bus services

Posted on Wednesday 19th June 2024
Electric bus Rotala

An updated plan to improve bus services across Staffordshire and encourage more residents to use them has been approved.

While the county council is not responsible for bus services, it has a role in coordinating and shaping public transport with companies and helping to secure additional funding wherever possible.

The Bus Service Improvement Plan looks to address the falling numbers of passengers through a range of measures – working with bus companies and using national funding to make bus travel an attractive and reliable option.

The main aims of the plan are to ensure there are better connections between towns, villages and transport hubs including railway stations. In addition, it looks to increase the number of residents in urban areas living within 400m of at least an hourly bus service, improve services along routes which experience traffic delays using bus lanes and improve cross-boundary connections to Staffordshire’s neighbours.

Working closely with bus operators is vital to deliver the plan. The county council will encourage them to promote fare offers and increase the use of The Knot integrated ticket, improve recruitment, training and retention of bus drivers and invest in new high quality and zero emission buses. It will also ask operators to monitor passenger numbers and potentially set up bus users’ forums.

The plan, which is subject to funding, includes a range of local improvement proposals such as bus station enhancements at Lichfield and Leek, improved walking and cycling routes to bus stops across the county, a developer-funded bus gate in Stafford between Burleyfields and Doxey, real time passenger information at busy bus stops and information points in towns. It also supports the delivery of electric buses across the county – working with operators to secure external funding.

Staffordshire County Council’s assistant director for connectivity and sustainability Dave Atkinson said:

We want Staffordshire people to be better connected with improved travel options. While we understand that for some people buses are essential, we want to encourage more to choose them as an alternative to car use.

We understand that this can only be achieved through ongoing improvements to services and facilities. While the county council is not responsible for bus services, we have a role as the transport authority to work with operators to support improved services, coordinating these across the county and securing external funding to enable this to happen.

Our Bus Service Improvement Plan sets out how we aim to achieve this, working closely with operators and listening to residents so we can target funding effectively.”

The plan was approved by the county council’s cabinet on June 19.

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