Bus Back Better is a national programme to boost the number of people travelling by bus. The plan is to rejuvenate the local bus market and make the service better in all regards.
The programme fits in with the government’s climate emergency, leveling-up, and rural connectivity agendas.
Central government is offering £3bn across England (outside London) to help counties reintroduce bus services. They are looking for ambitious, but realistic, ideas and plans.
What it means for those Somerset parishes who have long complained that their local bus service is unfit for purpose, is that at last there is an opportunity to get a change for the better. For villages that don’t currently have a service, there may be a chance to get one.
The timetable is very tight. By October 2021, Somerset County Council (SCC) will write a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) which will assess the current state of the network and set out a plan to create a future network. By March 2022, the detailed mechanics of the new bus services have to be established and bids for support have to be submitted by SCC.
The Somerset Bus Partnership is a newly-constituted group set up to influence the ‘Somerset Bus Improvement Plan’ that’s currently being prepared to ensure it includes proposals that will mean a better bus services. They are looking to produce a detailed document.
SCC is also being advised by consultants WSP who are also seeking feedback ahead of their report.
We have been asked to contribute our thoughts and ideas of what we would like to see in the plan. We should highlight our views on the whole bus infrastructure, rather than just the service itself.
If you have any thoughts on the subject of a bus service, please tell us at: email@example.com
You can view the Principles document here: