• Passengers across Redditch will benefit from a new National Bus Strategy, which will deliver the most ambitious reform to the sector in generations.
  • Worcestershire County Council will need to work in partnership with operators on ambitious new Bus Service Improvement Plans for the benefit of passengers to be eligible for future funding.
  • Plan paves the way for cheaper, quicker and more reliable bus services across England as the Government continues its levelling-up agenda.

Rachel welcomed the Government’s revolutionary £3 billion new bus strategy which will improve bus  services for passengers in Redditch.

Published yesterday (March 15th), the new strategy will see Redditch bus users benefit from more frequent, more reliable, easier to use and understand, better coordinated and cheaper bus services.

The strategy will require Worcestershire County Council to work in partnership with bus operators to improve services for passengers in order to be eligible for funding in future.

Councils and operators will be expected to provide:

  • Simpler single bus fares with daily price caps, so people can use the bus as many times a day as they need without facing mounting costs.
  • More services in the evenings and at the weekends.
  • Integrated services and ticketing across all transport modes in the area, so people can easily move from bus to train.
  • Easy to access information, including online, so that services are simple to use.
  • All buses to accept contactless payments.

Councils will also need to franchise services, as is the case in London, or establish statutory partnerships with operators – ensuring that they work in collaboration for the benefit of passengers. They will also be required to publish an improvement plan.

Such improvements will be underpinned by fundamental reforms to the sector and will see operators need to work with their local councils on targets for improving passenger numbers, reliability and passenger satisfaction, to be eligible for future government funding.

Only councils and operators who work to meet these requirements will continue to receive the around £100 million per month emergency Covid funding for the sector, or any new sources of funding from the £3 billion investment.

Rachel said:

“Good bus services can have a transformational role in places like Redditch, unlocking job opportunities, boosting businesses and supporting economic growth.

“Since I was first elected, bus services in Redditch has been a regular issue which has come up in my surgeries. It’s an issue I’ve lobbied the Government on over the years, and I’m pleased they’re listening to my constituents.

“This new National Strategy Bus Strategy, backed by £3 billion, will help to pave the way for simpler fares, more reliable services, and better connections across every part of the country.

“At the last general election, I stood on a manifesto that promised to level up and improve transport connections across Redditch, and this boost to our local bus services will help to deliver on that promise.”