Moving along - next stop for better bus services in Hampshire

Hampshire County Council has reached the next important milestone in working with bus operators to bring about improved bus services and increases in bus use across the county, in response to the Government’s Bus Back Better Strategy

Mar 11 2022

An Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme has been approved (10 March 2022) by the County Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Lead Member for Economy, Transport and Environment. This means that the County Council and bus operators will be able to implement the previously agreed Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) when the Government funding is agreed.  

Councillor Humby said: “We want to do all we can to make bus services in Hampshire even better and are very keen to support the national strategy - making public transport a more attractive means of travel, so that more people will be encouraged to take the bus to work, school or college and for leisure activities. Anything we can do to ensure journey times are efficient and reliable; and to ease congestion on our roads will go a long way to encouraging sustainable travel and reduced reliance on the private car. Long-term this should boost the local economy and contribute to a reduction in the county’s carbon emissions, thereby supporting our Climate Change ambitions for Hampshire to be carbon neutral by 2050.” 
 
“Our BSIP submission to the Department for Transport in October included a priority list of interventions that we believe will be fundamental to successfully raising demand for bus travel and set out the funding that we think would be required from Government to implement those.  Nationally, the Government has committed £1.2billion in funding and we await confirmation of Hampshire’s share.
 
“The County Council’s long history of working closely in partnership with bus operators in Hampshire, largely on a voluntary basis, has worked well for Hampshire, with the county bucking the national trend pre-Covid-19, in terms of the number of passengers travelling on buses over the past 10 years. This, together with our investment in schemes such as the  Eclipse Bus Rapid Transit scheme between Fareham and Gosport, quality infrastructure like Andover Bus Station and the use of Government funding to provide contactless ticket machines and live, up-to-date passenger information at bus stops, puts us in a really strong position for improving services further in the coming months and years.”

The Enhanced Partnership Plan sets out the high-level vision for Hampshire’s bus network, including journey time and reliability targets as well as how this will be achieved. 

Hampshire County Council and the bus operators’ legal obligations are set out in the Enhanced Partnership Scheme. This determines how the partners will implement the commitments made in the BSIP and the Enhanced Partnership Plan and, in doing so, abide by the standards of service set by the Scheme. Any obligations that are not met could result in legal action.  

The decision report and details of the Enhanced Partnership Plan and Enhanced Partnership Scheme can be read, online on the County Council’s webpages: https://democracy.hants.gov.uk/documents/s91772/Report.pdf