West Yorkshire bus services could be 10 per cent faster and cheaper under new plans

New plans to radically improve bus travel - including speeding up services and cutting fare prices - in West Yorkshire could be announced this week by decision makers.

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 11:45 am

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority will on Friday discuss the newest step of West Yorkshire' s Bus Services Improvement Plan (BSIP).

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The plans include a series of changes to services including cheaper and simplified fares with a promise of reduced journey times and improved punctuality, with buses to be given greater priority on roads.

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Newest proposals are part of Mayor Tracy Brabin's wider plan to encourage increased bus use.

By improving bus services, the BSIP aims to encourage more people within the region to travel by bus. The plan seeks to reduce average bus journey times by 5 per cent in the next four years, and by 10 per cent by 2030 by enabling buses to move through traffic more freely.

There is an ambition to improve bus punctuality by 90 per cent by March 2025 and increase bus usage by 6 per cent by 2025.

Included as part of the plans is a new 'customer charter', which aims to give passengers the right tools to travel with confidence and the help they need if their journey does not go to plan.

The charter will include a ‘last journey promise' where, if the final bus service of the day on a route is late or cancelled then taxi fares will be reimbursed and a money back guarantee which means if passengers are not happy with the service, they can receive their money back or their next journey for free.

The BSIP initiative is part of the wider plan for a carbon-zero bus fleet in the region by 2036, and that all buses will be Euro VI or zero emission by 2026.

Discussing the newest proposals West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin said: “Our new, ambitious Bus Service Improvement Plan is a major step towards my pledge to bring buses back under public control, introduce simpler fares, contactless ticketing and safer, greener buses.

“The plan has a clear focus on the passenger and the experience they should expect when they travel,” she added: “We want buses to be the first choice for travel in West Yorkshire - not because you don’t have a car, but because they’re more affordable, convenient to use, and better for the environment.”

The BSIP proposals include details of an Enhanced Safer Travel West Yorkshire partnership with West Yorkshire Police, to make bus travel safer for everyone, including women and girls. This will include enhanced lighting and CCTV at bus stops.

Created in partnership with bus operators and local authorities, the BSIP has been produced in response to the government’s National Bus Strategy. On Friday, the Combined Authority will be bidding for a share of £3bn from the Department for Transport. If successful funding is expected in early 2022.

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