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Staffordshire BSIP and Enhanced Partnership - January 2022

Following the successful submission of the Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) to the Department for Transport, the council is commencing with the process to create an Enhanced Partnership. This means we will work closely with local bus operators to increase the attractiveness of bus journeys in Staffordshire with the aim of increasing bus patronage in order that the local bus network can be put on a sustainable footing.

There are two elements of the Enhanced Partnership which must now be agreed and consulted upon:

  • The Enhanced Partnership Plan - sets out a summarised version of the BSIP, providing the context for the proposed local bus service improvements
  • The Enhanced Partnership Scheme - sets out in more detail how the Plan objectives will be achieved through an agreed set of actions

Both the Plan and Scheme will form the legally binding agreement between the council and local bus operators. The delivery of our BSIP proposals are subject to the required funding being made available by the Department for Transport. As such the Plan and the Scheme have been set out and maybe varied to include more detail as any funding becomes available.

To view the EP document please see link below:

All qualifying local bus service operators operating in Staffordshire were given the right to object to the Enhanced Partnership Plan / Enhanced Partnership Scheme being proposed. It was stipulated that any objections must be made during the 28 day objection period that commenced on  Thursday 10 December 2021 until and including Friday 14 January 2022.

It was explained, in an email and letter circulated to operators on the 9 December 2021, that objecting operators should provide their justification for doing so in line with DFT guidance and make their objection in writing by post and email using the following addresses:

Post:

Connected and Sustainable County,
1 Staffordshire Place,
Tipping Street,
Stafford,
ST16 2DH

Email: busstrategy@staffordshire.gov.uk

In line with regulations Staffordshire is responsible for publishing any objections within 14 days of the consultation ending. We have received formal objections from four operators who between them operate more than 25% of qualifying local bus services in Staffordshire, therefore the EP will not proceed to public consultation. Objections were received from the following operators within Staffordshire:

  • D&G Bus Ltd
  • Midland Classic Ltd
  • B P Brown Travel Ltd t/a Select Bus Services
  • Eric W Bowers Coaches Ltd t/a High Peak.

Our next steps will be to work through objections with each of the operators concerned and to revise the proposed EP agreement if appropriate. It is our intention to wait for the DfT’s funding announcement before proceeding again with the formal steps for an EP, as this will allow us to incorporate any changes that may be required when funding is announced. We are committed to working closely with all Staffordshire operators in the intervening period and moving forwards. 

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