The Community Transport Association (CTA) has produced a briefing for members of the House of Lords on the Bus Services Bill.
The organisations said it wants to ‘put access and inclusion at the heart of the Bill,’ and identified key areas where it felt changes needed to be made to address social isolation and poor accessibility to services.
The organisation asked for a strengthening of the local consultation requirements and a broadening of the range of stakeholders which must be consulted with. It said the Bill should include the involvement a broader range of community members beyond existing passengers, including providers of alternatives to the mainstream network and those members of the public who feel unable to access the transport network at the moment.
The CTA also said that quality measures must consider accessibility and inclusion, and that the success of any quality partnership should include whether it contributes to the overall accessibility of the transport network.
Lastly, the CTA asked for there to be more innovation in service provision, adding that moving from a commercial network to a publicly commissioned one will not necessarily lead to a transformation in the range and quality of provision. It said that franchising and the partnership development process must consider the role of the charity and not-for-profit sector from the outset in order to achieve a more integrated local network that is more resilient to the pressures a purely commercial network would face.