Lancashire County Council is working closely with bus operators to prepare for a major change in the way buses are funded and organised following the government's launch of The National Bus Strategy, Bus Back Better in March 2021.
The strategy sets out an ambitious vision to improve bus services in England, outside London, through greater local leadership, to reverse the recent shift in journeys away from public transport and encourage passengers back to using the bus.
The focus is on councils and bus operators working more closely together, and alongside local communities, to create a network that people want.
The aim is to create services that are more frequent, reliable and affordable, while making them easier for passengers to understand and use.
Depending on people's priorities for improving services, this could result in simpler, cheaper fares, consistent high-quality information about services in more places, and more efficient and frequent services in the evenings and weekends.
In response to the new government strategy, on 24 June 2021 the county council made the decision to develop an Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme (EP) – a detailed agreement between the county council and transport operators about how services will operate, and be improved in future.
Lancashire County Council and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council have worked in partnership, with local bus operators, to jointly develop a Bus Service Improvement Plan for their areas.
This document is the first step into delivering on the National Bus Strategy and will be key to delivering on bus priority and improvement measures that will, over time, make public transport the mode of choice in Lancashire. It provides the technical basis for the Enhanced Partnership that each authority intends to make with its bus operators by April 2022.
Our Bus Service Improvement Plan will be updated annually to enable us to remain flexible to changes and demands.
More detail of what we want to achieve can be seen in the Bus Service Improvement Plan (PDF 11.2 MB).
Thank you to those who took part in the recent survey regarding bus services in Lancashire. The results have helped us to shape our Bus Service Improvement Plan and will also be used as the plan is reviewed in the future.