The Department for Transport (DfT) has commissioned Atkins and The TAS Partnership to produce best practice guidance on bus partnerships, covering England (outside London), in response to requests from local authorities and bus operators for improved and updated guidance.
The guidance will set out the components of strong bus partnerships, both voluntary and statutory, barriers to establishing and maintaining them and, crucially, potential solutions. The underlying aims are to, improve the quality of partnerships, achieve the best outcomes for passengers and encourage the most effective use of current resources.
As well as a review of existing material, the first stage of the project comprises an online survey of local transport authorities to gather basic information on current and previous partnership work with a view to collating case study information. Bus operators will also be contacted to obtain details of partnerships they have been or are involved in.
Detailed reports on 12 case studies will inform the drafting of the guidance, and following further consultation with stakeholders, a final document will be published with a target of April 2015.
TAS Director, John Taylor said: “This is going to be a fascinating exploration into bus partnerships of all types and we want to get to the heart of what works and what doesn’t work so well, so we can help address barriers and provide ways forward. Partnership working is vital at a time when resources are so constrained.
“Consultation will be a core part of the process and will enable as meaningful and informative a guide as possible. We are pleased to contribute towards guidance which partners themselves have requested.”
The work is being led for the DfT by The TAS Partnership Ltd, supported by Atkins, and with a project group involving representative organisations, public and commercial, working in the public transport sector.
A website – www.transportconsultation.co.uk – has been set up where organisations can provide comments and find out more information.