Over 200 key decision makers and business leaders have been invited to debate on the future of transport in the North
Transdev is inviting its customers, business and political leaders to have their say in mapping its journey beyond the pandemic with the launch of its own plan for growth in 2021 and beyond.
To kick-start a new debate on the future direction of transport in the North, the operator has produced ‘Build Buses Back Better,’ a 28-page prospectus which s
ets out Transdev’s blueprint to create innovative, integrated bus networks at the heart of a post-pandemic economic and social revival in the North’s urban and rural communities.
It is being mailed to over 200 key decision makers and business leaders across the region served by Transdev’s operations, from central Lancashire to the Yorkshire coast.
Transdev CEO Alex Hornby said: “2020 has of course been the year of Covid-19, which has produced unprecedented challenges for us – which I’m proud to say we continue to battle through, thanks to our amazing customers and colleagues. But as we approach 2021 with a real prospect of an end to the current restrictions, it’s time to turn our eyes to the future and the opportunities ahead.
“The Prime Minister’s New Deal sets out to tackle unresolved challenges, and in his own words, to ‘Build Back Better.’ We want to build buses back better too, using our track record of success in growing bus networks and Transdev’s worldwide multi-modal expertise – but across Britain there’s an inconsistent picture, with isolated pockets of growth and limited policy support and investment in infrastructure to help buses provide an answer to issues such as pollution and congestion.
“As a pioneer in our industry using new technology to provide low and zero-emission buses, we have a positive track record of success in growing bus usage through investment, a high-quality product and marketing. We believe 2021 can be a year of unique opportunities for the bus – and now is the time to start a conversation about this comeback and how we make the most of it.”
Transdev’s ‘Build Buses Back Better’ brochure sets out its priorities for action in 2021 and beyond. Its suggestions include:
- Bus priorities: More measures to make the bus the most reliable option for urban travel, integrated with active travel modes such as cycling and walking.
- Electric buses: Support for bus firms prepared to lead the way, alongside measures to control those who fail to act.
- Partnership: Transdev says co-operation with key organisations can deliver best value for money, whether in a fully deregulated network or via franchises awarded by local authorities. It also suggests a third way where appropriate, involving a service level agreement with a resource lock and investment programme in place, with delivery managed by a Bus Board led jointly by bus operators and local authorities.
- High standards: A national minimum customer service standard for bus services, giving customers guarantees on what to expect and driving up standards across the country. Transdev also says national bus driver training schemes should refocus on the customer – while the Bus Service Operators’ Grant paid by Government to bus operators should pay more to firms who attract more customers onto successful routes.
The prospectus calls for targeted price reductions, such as for young people moving from education to employment, alongside incentives for employers to support their employees who make sustainable travel choices, including the bus. Transdev also suggests that offering incentives when people move home or start in education or a new job could persuade more to choose the bus.