County residents are being encouraged to share their views on the future of local bus transport by taking part in the Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) survey.

Government recently published its National Bus Strategy for England, ‘Bus Back Better’, which requires Local Authorities to work with bus operators through ‘enhanced partnerships’ to create plans for improving local bus services and encouraging more people to use them.

As part of this, Herefordshire Council is drafting a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) for Herefordshire, in collaboration with the county’s bus operators and other key stakeholders, which we aim to publish later this year. In drafting the plan, it will be important that we know what local people think would improve bus services, and what would make them more likely to use local buses – this might be specific requests for a certain route or broader comments about the bus service people, what residents would want the services to look like if they were to be encouraged to use it more regularly. 

To gather the views of local people, we are coordinating the BSIP survey, which runs from Friday 16 July to Sunday 15 August.

We are keen to hear from people who already use buses and from those who currently don’t. We also want to hear from public, private and voluntary organisations who have an interest in local bus services, and making our bus services work better.

Cllr John Harrington, Cabinet member for Infrastructure and Transport, said: “Good and affordable transport is vital to the people of Herefordshire. An efficient and varied transport network is essential for the county’s economy,

“We want to deliver a transport network that gives people options on how they travel. We want a network that supports economic growth whilst providing the conditions for safe and active travel, a network with options that will help reduce congestion and increase accessibility.

“Both the Hereford Transport Strategy Review and the Local Transport Plan set out our strategy for supporting economic growth, improving health and wellbeing and reducing the environmental impacts of transport. Integral to the future of local transport are modes of passenger transport - including improved school and public bus services.

Herefordshire bus service

“This administration is committed to increasing the bus network across the City, market towns and our villages. There will of course be challenges and there will be a need for investment into an improved bus network but we are determined to get residents and schoolchildren back onto buses in a way that we haven’t done for nearly two decades.

“The financial incentives and the direction from central government asking bus service providers and local authorities to work together in ‘enhanced partnerships’ gives us the very best opportunity in decades for private bus companies and the Council to work together collaboratively, this is an opportunity we must not waste to return bus coverage in Herefordshire to levels that are sustainable and effective.

“We need your views to help shape the Bus Service Improvement Plan, and therefore the future of safe, healthy transport that reflects the needs of local people. We’re looking for feedback from people who currently use buses, and those who don’t, so I’d encourage everybody to take a few minutes to complete the survey.”

To access the consultation, please visit www.herefordshire.gov.uk/bus-survey

For further information, to request the questionnaire in an alternative format, or for help to complete the survey, please contact the Transport Team on 01432 261800 or email public.transport@Herefordshire.gov.uk.

All the information you give us will be treated as confidential. Any comments you provide may be included in our report, but will be anonymised. If you would like to talk to us about how we use your information you can email informationgovernance@herefordshire.gov.uk.

Published: 20th July 2021