CBC Bus Stop Sign

Central Bedfordshire Council has claimed that bus travel is set to be improved over the coming years, with “greener, better connected, and more reliable services” for all.

It has published its Bus Service Improvement Plan following the launch of the government’s new national bus strategy, Bus Back Better.

The Council said its plan sets out improvements to transform bus services in the area, as well as a bid to access part of the £3 billion funding available to local transport authorities.

It added that the Bus Service Improvement Plan is the first step towards making an Enhanced Partnership between the council and bus operators.

Once developed this will set out how the partnership will implement the schemes to encourage more people to use buses.

The Council said various measures will offer “significant benefits” for residents. They include:

  • Short term – launch ‘Get on Board’ campaign to encourage bus travel, post pandemic restrictions
  • Medium term – introduce multi-operator, multi-journey ticketing and fare capping and give buses priority through traffic signals
  • Long term – develop rural interchange hubs, allowing more connecting journeys to be made and provide zero emission buses on the Luton-Dunstable busway network, to benefit the wider area

Executive member for community services, councillor Ian Dalgarno, said:

“The Bus Service Improvement Plan will help us provide residents with a modern sustainable bus service that’s appealing to users.

“Buses are vitally important for Central Bedfordshire. They link our towns and villages and connect people with other areas too. They can be the main form of transport for some people, so we need to provide a high quality but affordable service.

“We also want to make buses a ‘go to’ mode of transport for more people in our communities. If we can encourage more people to use our buses in the future instead of their cars, this will have major benefits. It will help us to reduce traffic on our roads, improve air quality and tackle climate change.”

The council’s Bus Service Improvement Plan has been submitted to the Department for Transport.