Years of campaigning by Campaign for Better Transport and others has finally paid off with the announcement that the Government will deliver a National Bus Strategy next year, meaning buses will no longer be the Cinderella of transport modes.
This is fantastic news for communities up and down the country who have borne the brunt of degrading and withdrawn services in recent years. But what will the strategy look like?
Passenger numbers have been falling steadily in recent years, partly due to a reduction in services and partly because buses simply haven’t been practical for lots of people to use. Therefore one of the main aims of the National Bus Strategy should be to increase passenger numbers; to do that we need to make buses a no brainer.
We need a programme of investment in both physical and digital infrastructure and a new generation of modal interchanges connecting bus networks with other forms of transport. We need multi-modal ticketing, contactless payment and integrated journey planning so passengers can plan and execute their journeys with less effort.
We also need bus travel to be cheaper. One of the recommendations in our recent report, The future of the bus, was a local trial of free or reduced price bus travel, along with targeted support from Government to reduce fares for young people across the country.
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