New Leicester scheme will cut congestion and simplify routes

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The Leicester Buses Partnership has seen the city council and local bus operators working jointly on investment and innovation of the city’s public transport system. RICHARD SHARMAN

Bus companies are working together with Leicester City Council to improve journey times and cut congestion by getting rid of duplicate services and co-ordinating timetables on several routes across the city as part of the council-led Leicester Buses scheme, and new partnership agreements have been approved by the council to better integrate bus services operating on similar routes.

The move is intended to reduce the likelihood of buses arriving at the same time, causing unnecessary congestion and slowing down journey times. It will also give customers simplified and improved timetables across the day.

The new agreements involving operators First, Arriva and Centrebus will be brought in on a two-year trial basis, from April 2023 until March 2025. The move is the latest stage of improving and integrating bus routes, services and ticketing options across the city since the launch of the city council-led Leicester Bus Partnership in spring 2022. Multi-operator tickets already mean that passengers can use one ticket to travel with any of the main bus providers in the city.

Arriva and First have already removed duplication on routes serving common areas in one area of the city, while First, Arriva and Kinch Bus have done the same on services in another. Leicester’s Deputy City Mayor for transportation, clean air and climate emergency Councillor Adam Clarke said: “We’ve focused on where services are duplicating each other, causing congestion and confusing travellers. Evidence shows that reliability and journey speed is harmed by buses delaying themselves – basically too many buses trying to serve the same routes at the same time. Working with the companies to reduce duplication, this trial scheme means removing up to 10 diesel buses, speeding up journey times, lowering pollution and improving timetables across the day.”