Leicester partnership celebrates first year of progress

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New buses have been introduced on six Greenlines routes, with more arriving in the next year. JONATHAN WELCH

The partnership has achieved three-quarters of its objectives in its first year

Launched in May 2022, the Leicester Bus Partnership brought together all local bus operators and the city council with a view to working and investing together under an agreed long-term plan. It set out 100 key improvements to be made by 2025, focusing on making bus travel electric, reliable, frequent, easy and great value to use.

A year on from its launch, the partners say that 75 of those pledges have been delivered, with the rest on track to be achieved by summer 2024. Some of the improvements already made include contactless ticketing, the introduction of 24 new electric buses on six ‘Greenlines’ routes, new bus lanes, a new website and over 600 real time displays and 450 new shelters at key stops.

Improvements still to be delivered over the next year include more electric buses, with 86 for First arriving between May and September, plus 24 for Arriva, as well as further bus priority and real-time information projects. Leicester deputy city mayor for transportation, climate emergency and clean air, Councilor Adam Clarke said: “This is fantastic progress, and shows what can be gained by working together on a common goal to improve transport across the city and nearby areas.

“The partnership approach has enabled us to look at what changes would really benefit passengers, and to support the bus operators in making improvements as part of an overall plan for the city. It’s been a very positive process, as shown by the amount of work we’ve achieved already as a partnership. It has enabled us to work together on taking a big step forward in making Leicester’s public transport greener, more reliable and more easily accessible for all users.”

Chair of the Leicester Bus Partnership Forum Dawn Badminton-Capps added:

“Despite the lack of Government funding, Leicester City Council Enhanced Partnership has achieved some excellent results in just its first year. The board and its partners will continue to build on this success and strive to deliver the best services possible for Leicester’s buses.”

First’s Interim Managing Director for Midlands and South Yorkshire Mike Watson added: “It is a privilege for First to be involved in this pioneering partnership and it shows what can be achieved with a combination of exceptional civic leadership, highly-skilled officers and collaborative industry partners.”