In March 2021, the government announced a new National Bus Strategy Bus back better – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). Alongside the delivery of this strategy, there is an expectation that local transport authorities work towards forming “Enhanced Partnerships” with their local bus operators. This will also include the development of a Bus Service Improvement Plan.
UPDATE 22nd July 2022
We have now received details of Devon County Council’s funding allocation with regards to our Bus Services Improvement Plan (BSIP). Although this funding falls considerably short of what we initially requested, we have now sent a revised proposal to the Department for Transport, with our draft Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme document. We are currently going through the legal process of forming the Enhanced Partnership with our bus operators, and hope to complete this by September/October.
We intend to go out to public consultation on proposed changes in the autumn (October 2022), at which time we will also update our BSIP.
What is an Enhanced Partnership?
An Enhanced Partnership is an agreement between a local authority and local bus operators to work together to improve local bus services. It includes a clear vision of the improvements that the partnership is aiming for and accompanying actions to achieve them. The local authority has formal responsibility to form the partnership. They can only proceed with proposals if they have the support and input of local bus operators.
Notice of Intent to Prepare an Enhanced Partnership Plan and Schemes June 2021
On 21st June 2021. Devon County Council gave approval to proceed with the development of an Enhanced Partnership. The commencement of this is confirmed through this notice of the intention to prepare an Enhanced Partnership Plan and accompanying Enhanced Partnership Schemes, as required and set out in section 138F of the Transport Act 2000.
Bus Services Improvement Plan (BSIP) – published 29th October, 2021
As part of the process in moving towards the Enhanced Partnership, Devon County Council have now published their Bus Services Improvement Plan (BSIP). This can be viewed online, along with accompanying appendices:
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