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.
In 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.
1. Please do write to your MP and given the state of the bus services in Somerset. emphasise how the Somerset BSIP deserves to be seen as a priority by the Department of Transport.
2. Please contact your County Councillor to ensure the Somerset BSIP addresses your issues with your local buses.
3. It’s never too late to feed your thoughts to Somerset County Council about your bus issues. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and please copy us in via our email address: email@example.com.
4. We are concerned about the state of many bus stops and bus shelters (and indeed bus stations) across the County.
a. If there are bus stops and bus shelters local to you that are in need of some care and attention please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and provide the name of the bus stop (on the bus flag at the bus stop or obtained via Google Maps (click on the blue bus icon where your bus stop is located), location of bus stop (e.g. bus stop name: Sainsbury’s Superstore and the and the bus stop code if you can find it. Location: Sainsburys, Sandy/s Hill Lane, Frome).
b. Also let us know if the timetables aren’t up to date on the timetable cases. Please provide bus stop name, location, bus stop code and date of timetable.
c. If you’re a town or parish councillor, could you send us a list of bus stops you own or maintain in your area name of bus stop, bus stop code and location).
5. Last but certainly not least, we are very keen to encourage local people to come forward to represent their area or even their bus route. If you feel could help us either by becoming your local representative or suggesting someone you feel could undertake that role, then please let us know.
We are waiting to hear back from Somerset County Council when our next meeting will be. We will be in touch soon.
You can also view our website: https://www.somersetbuspartnership.co.uk/ or join our social media channels:
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SomersetCTBC
Somerset Bus Partnership