North East Lincolnshire Council and its regeneration partner EQUANS have been awarded £4.7m from the Government’s Bus Back Better scheme to deliver on local ambition outlined in the Bus Service Improvement Plan.
There were 79 Bus Service Improvement Plan’s submitted, of which, only 31 were allocated indicative funding and North East Lincolnshire Council was the only Local Authority in the Lincolnshire and Humber Region to be awarded this.
North East Lincolnshire Council’s Bus Service Improvement Plan has been developed in partnership with Stagecoach East Midlands and Transport Consultant SYSTRA.
Councillor Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for environment and transport at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “I want to say thank you to SYSTRA and Stagecoach for having helped us to develop the Bus Service Improvement Plan. The plan aims to make bus travel a more accessible form of transport in our communities, improve passenger experience and reduce congestion on our streets by encouraging more people to travel by bus.”
Brian Drury, SYSTRA Sector Director, said: “We are delighted to have assisted North East Lincolnshire Council in producing a bold and ambitious Bus Service Improvement Plan that has led to the award of £4.7m. We have worked collaboratively with the council and local bus operator Stagecoach to develop a number of measures and interventions that will make a real step change to bus services in the area, helping make bus services more punctual, reliable and faster delivering higher levels of customer satisfaction and encouraging more people to use the bus.”
Matt Cranwell, managing director at Stagecoach East Midlands, added: “There is a huge opportunity ahead as we emerge from the pandemic for the bus to help deliver economic recovery, level up communities, provide better air quality and health for local people, and transition to a net zero future.
“We were delighted to partner with North East Lincolnshire Council to develop a range of initiatives to deliver better bus services and give greater priority to people making more sustainable transport choices.
“This new investment, along with measures to incentivise and drive less use of cars, is an important part of delivering more reliable bus journeys, better value fares and attracting more customers to the benefits of bus travel.”
Martin Lear, head of highways and transport at EQUANS, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity and we are looking forward to executing this plan as it means we can make bus travelling easier for our passengers. We hope this will encourage people to travel by bus as it is one of the more sustainable ways of travelling.”
The Bus Service Improvement Plan will also help to deliver the Bus Passenger Charter, which details what passengers can expect using local bus services operating in North East Lincolnshire, as well as detailing which elements of service provision are the responsibility of the council.
In the coming weeks, a delivery plan will be developed to identify the projects that will bring about the biggest improvements to local transport.