Leicestershire County Council Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme – Invitation to Comment

Submitted on 13 January 2022 by Carrianne Houghton

At the end of October 2021, Leicestershire County Council published its Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) (https://www.leicestershire.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/buses-and-public-transport/bus-service-improvement-plan-bsip).  The BSIP vision is:

 

Our future bus network will seamlessly connect people with employment locations, education and training opportunities, key services, other transport modes, leisure destinations and, of course, each other; in a way that is reliable, affordable, environmentally friendly, easy-to-use, safe, and inclusive.

 

The five objectives of the BSIP are:

 

Single System - A high-quality, integrated and efficient bus network
Reliable - A more reliable bus network
Affordable - An affordable bus network
Easy to Use - An easy-to-use bus network
Greener - A more attractive and greener bus network

 

Appropriate measures to deliver these objectives (subject to funding availability) are included within the BSIP document.

 

Delivery of the Bus Service Improvement Plan (to the extent possible within funding constraints) will be driven by a formal ‘Enhanced Partnership’ (EP) between the County Council and Leicestershire bus operators.  This will be put in place by the County Council before the end of March 2022.  The EP will be led by an ‘EP Board’ formed of representatives of the County Council, bus operators, and non-voting district councils within Leicestershire.

 

The EP will also include opportunity through a broad ‘EP Forum’ for a wide range of other stakeholders to provide input and suggestions on how the Bus Service Improvement Plan should best be implemented.  These include a Leicestershire bus user group (to be formed), community transport operators in Leicestershire, neighbouring local transport authorities, train operating companies serving stations in Leicestershire, East Midlands Airport, Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, and other organisations that have an interest in Leicestershire’s bus services.

 

To form the EP, the County Council has to ‘make’ an EP Plan and EP Scheme (these are formal legal documents, draft versions of which can be accessed here).  The initial EP Scheme will be a simple, relatively low-cost first step, as funding to be made available by Government to deliver the BSIP is not yet known.  This first Scheme can in due course be extended in scope and ambition and additional Schemes can be introduced in line with the BSIP, once the EP is in formal operation and funding availability becomes clear.

 

The initial EP Scheme involves:

A county-wide requirement for bus operators to only introduce service changes on specific agreed dates (there will be exemptions to this requirement for some services that come into the County from other local authority areas).  This will address the ‘Easy to Use’ objective, helping make the Leicestershire bus network simpler to understand.
The County Council carrying out an audit of bus stops in the B4114 corridor (a section of Narborough Road South) to the south-west of Leicester and providing improved facilities within that corridor, thus contributing to the ‘Single System’ objective.  Operators of bus services in this corridor will be required by 1st April 2024 to use only vehicles that meet, as a minimum, the Euro VI emissions standard, which will contribute to the ‘Greener’ objective.

 

The draft EP Plan and Scheme documents were subject to the Operator Objection process required by law from 8th December 2021 to 5th January 2022.  No objections were raised by bus operators during this period. 

 

As a statutory consultee, we welcome your views on the draft EP Plan and Scheme documents.  If you have any views or comments that you would like to share, please email them to NBS@leics.gov.uk by 6th February 2022.  In the meantime, if you have any clarification questions, please contact us using the same email address and we will endeavour to respond as quickly as possible.

 

Yours sincerely
Safe & Sustainable Travel Team
NBS@leics.gov.uk


On behalf of Leicestershire County Council


© 2016 - Clerk: Mark Jackson, 21 Wood Street, Earl Shilton, Leicester, LE9 7NE