The UK government has published its long-term strategy for buses in England, Bus back better. The strategy outlines a plan for hundreds of miles of new bus lanes, to build 4,000 new British-made hydrogen or electric buses, to transition cities to emission-free buses, and begin a consultation on the ending of diesel bus sales.
That strategy also includes plans to simplify bus fares and introduce daily price caps, provide more frequent evening and weekend services, integrate train and bus services, and ensure that contactless payment is available on all services. The strategy is backed by £3 billion of investment and will seek to encourage local authorities to work with bus companies to improve services across the country.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said, “Buses are this country’s favourite way of getting around. The quality of bus service you receive shouldn’t be dependent on where you live. Everyone deserves to have access to cheap, reliable and quick bus journeys. The strategy we’re unveiling today will completely overhaul services, ensuring we build back better from the pandemic.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, added, “Buses are the backbone of public transport in the West Midlands, carrying more than 250 million people every year. Residents here want clean, decarbonised buses that are affordable and continue to remain reliable and punctual, and that’s what the new strategy laid out today will deliver.”
Further ambitions laid out in the strategy include enhancing access for all potential passengers and providing ‘next stop’ announcements on all services that will help disabled passengers and others to travel with confidence.