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Arriva Wrightbus Eclipse-bodied B7RLE 3913 departing Cannock bus station, now located over a mile from an out-of-town designer outlet. JOE SMITH

Are we designing bus networks in towns or creating towns around buses, asks Ryan Charlton

Effective networks thrive when neighbourhoods are intentionally designed with public transport at their core. Under-performing areas’ challenges often result from a need for more synergy between local infrastructure and public transport options. Road layouts that hinder bus accessibility and scattered employment hubs and leisure facilities have slowly, but so far irreversibly, nurtured a culture of car dependency. Let’s delve into the potential of future government housing policies and the goal of levelling up to reverse this. Furthermore, we explore the proactive role that operators must play in driving the fundamental shift in public perception required to entice new passengers onto public transport.

Death of the High Street

Buses are a means to an end, they’re transport, and we cannot escape the fundamental issue that our passengers need a reason to travel. Between 2015 and 2019, footfall on UK high streets dropped by 4%, while in the same period bus patronage fell by 4%. Post-pandemic high street footfall has only recovered to 84% of pre-pandemic levels while bus patronage has recovered to 88% based on government data for early July.


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