Bus Users UK has welcomed the latest best practice toolkit released from Transport Focus on the subject of passenger consultations – an update on the toolkit originally released in 2012.
With the Bus Services Bill promising fresh consultations on partnership agreements and franchising, the guide has produced a checklist for effective consultations. It is based on consultation carried out by over 30 local authorities during the last four years.
The report states that consultations should begin as early as possible, be clearly worded and offer detailed information.
They should be widely publicised and provide sufficient time and opportunity for those affected to respond, while taking proper consideration of the responses.
Bus Users, which has worked extensively with local authorities in ensuring the consultation process with passengers is effective, was included in the report for its work with Wiltshire County Council.
The Council’s Portfolio Holder for Passenger Transport, Cllr Horace Prickett, said: “I would strongly recommend local authorities work with Bus Users UK on passenger consultations. Their work with passenger groups during Wiltshire Council’s bus review generated an unprecedented number of responses and provided invaluable feedback that is helping to shape future services.”
Norman Baker, Chairman of Bus Users UK, said: “The value of passenger consultations cannot be understated.
“When passengers are kept informed and their needs and concerns are taken into account, they can be a force for good in identifying creative and innovative solutions to local transport needs.”