Operators urge new mayors to prioritise bus and coach

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The CPT says that new mayors need to make sure that bus and coach projects are at the front of their thinking when it comes to sustainability and the environment

The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) has written to the newly-elected mayors of nine combined authorities across the North of England and the Midlands to highlight the contribution coaches and buses can make to the realisation of their policy ambitions.

Commenting on the letters, Graham Vidler, CEO of CPT said: “Millions of bus journeys in England are made in the areas overseen by these mayors, so we’ve written to say that bus operators stand ready to work in partnership with them to transform local bus and coach services using the funding they’ve been given by central government to deliver improvements. For better buses our message is simple: please put bus first on the road by delivering your Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) including all of the bus priority measures outlined to keep buses out of congestion and deliver the 10% improvement in bus speeds that CPT has called for in its national manifesto for bus.

“We also want each mayor to recognise the importance of coach services to both local residents and businesses by addressing coach properly in their local transport plans; by opening up bus lanes to coaches in all but exceptional situations; and by providing more coach parking as a key part of their efforts to make commuting and tourism more sustainable.”

Regardless of any plans they may have to reform bus regulation, the CPT is also urging the mayors to get on with delivering their bus service improvement plans using the capital funding that has already been allocated to them for local transport projects by government. “Together these provide more than enough capital funding for the mayors to deliver all of their aspirations for buses. The only thing that will slow down improvements is a lack of political will to pursue their ambitions to shift some journeys away from the car and towards more sustainable modes,” Graham added.