CPT and bus operators set out priorities for the next government

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“We want to hear parties talking about their plans for buses and the millions of people who use them each day,” Graham Vidler comments

The bus industry, Campaign for Better Transport and CPT have joined forces to set out their priorities for the next government.

The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), which represents bus operators across the UK, and Campaign for Better Transport, which campaigns for all communities to have access to high quality sustainable transport, have called on the next government to put policies designed to get more people onto the bus at the centre of their policy making.

By investing in buses, the partnership said, the next government has the opportunity to better connect people in cities, towns and villages with work, education and family and friends, as well as to also enable the industry and local authority partners to lead the way on the road to zero emissions and improve air quality in our towns and cities.

CPT’s and Campaign for Better Transport’s priorities for government include:

Delivering a national bus strategy that has tackling congestion and providing more reliable journey times at its core;

Introducing a long term funding settlement so operators can invest with confidence in zero emission buses, multi operator daily and weekly price capped ticketing and reduced travel costs for job seekers and apprentices; and

Making passenger journeys faster and more reliable through ensuring bus-first policies feature in bids for local infrastructure funding.

The partnership is calling not just for investment in vehicles, but seeking also to encourage local authorities to make increasing bus passenger numbers a priority when seeking infrastructure funding for urban transport, by creating incentives to meet targets for reduced bus journey times in return for infrastructure funding.

Additionally, the CPT and CBT have called for the incoming government target the problems or providing transport to rural areas by working with bus operators, campaigners and other stakeholders to deliver trials of innovative rural transport, including on demand services, along with a provision of meaningful funding to kick-start the roll-out of ‘Total Transport’ partnerships between local transport authorities, operators and other partners and encourage central and local government agencies, including the NHS, to participate in integrated bus network planning and delivery.

CPT Chief Executive Graham Vidler said: “As parties hit the campaign trail in earnest we want to hear them talking about their plans for buses and the millions of people who use them each day.

The bus industry has led the way by setting out plans for more ultra-low and zero emission buses, simpler ticketing and discounted travel for job seekers and apprentices and we need the next government to work with us to deliver these and help many more people choose to use the bus.”

Darren Shirley, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said: “A National Bus Strategy, backed up by central government funding, can put the bus on the road to a brighter future and help reconnect communities, boost local economies and tackle the loneliness crisis. Ensuring all buses are zero emission by 2035 will also improve air quality and help the UK hit its net zero target. It’s now up to the next Government to seize the opportunity to turn around the fortunes of communities up and down the country that rely on the bus.”