Bus service improvement plan

We're making some big improvements to bus services in Lancashire over the next few years with the aim of encouraging people to leave their cars at home and travel by bus. We want to make services more frequent, reliable and affordable, with better information for passengers and a simpler fares which are easier to understand.

Working with local bus operators and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, we have been granted Department for Transport funding of £34.1m to support our bus service improvement plan (BSIP).

Our BSIP includes a range of measures to make buses better and help to create a network of buses which more people use for regular journeys.

These improvements, due to be delivered from 2022 to 2025, include:

  • Simpler cheaper fares
  • Multi-Modal, Multi-Operator ticket across the Fylde Coast
  • Bus priority measures – bus lanes and changes to traffic junctions to make journeys quicker and more reliable
  • A number of bus service enhancements

We will carry out public consultation on any bus priority measures which require changes to existing traffic regulations, and this page will be updated with more information as the schemes are designed and developed. The list of agreed bus priority schemes  can be found in our Enhanced Partnership document (PDF 1.15 MB).

Upcoming bus priority schemes

The latest bus priority schemes which are currently under development or being consulted on.

Already introduced

A number of improvements have already been delivered as part of our BSIP:

National Bus Strategy

We have agreed an Enhanced Partnership Scheme, which sets out how we will work closely with bus operators to develop improvements to services which complement the delivery of our Bus Service Improvement Plan.

Following consultation with bus operators, the Enhance Partnership Executive Board approved an updated version of the Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme on 11 January 2024. The update primarily reflects developments within the bus industry in Lancashire since the previous update in November 2022. It additionally outlines the progress made to date on BSIP funded projects.

Zero emission bus regional area fund

The DfT is making £129 million available to support the introduction of zero emission buses in England via the second round of the Zero Emission Bus Regional Area fund.

Lancashire County Council have submitted a bid to the second round on behalf of Preston Bus; Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire; and Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire, for up to 70 zero emission buses. If successful it could mean electric buses being used on some of the busiest routes in Lancaster, Preston and South Ribble.

The funding would pay for up to 75% of the extra cost of buying zero-emission buses over an equivalent new diesel vehicle, as well as up to 75% of the cost of charging infrastructure needed, with the three bus operators expected to make up the difference.

If the bid is successful the county council would have a role in ensuring the funding was spent according to Department for Transport guidelines, as well as meeting a number of other legal requirements.

County Councillor Scott Smith, lead member for highways and active travel, said: "Replacing a significant number of diesel-fuelled buses with zero-emissions vehicles would be really positive step towards achieving our net zero target for Lancashire.

"It's good that a number of our local operators have grasped this opportunity to make their fleet greener, and I'm pleased that we're able to support this bid.

"We're already working closely with operators to make the most of the government funding we've received to make services more frequent, reliable and affordable through our Bus Service Improvement Plan, and if successful this bid would result in another significant investment in our public transport infrastructure."

The outcome is due to be announced by the end of March 2024.