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Soon bus passengers up and down the country should be able to better plan their journey, thanks to a new £4 million fund announced by Buses Minister, Nusrat Ghani MP. The fund will be used to provide a digital platform with live information about the location of buses, aiming to give greater certainty to passengers about when their bus will arrive.

97 per cent of buses are fitted with GPS trackers and the new funding will enable this information to be passed directly to bus passengers. Some major cities already have this service in the form of a mobile app, online service or with live information screens at bus stops, and now people in other areas across the country, including rural and remote areas, will have access to the technology making travelling by bus easier and more convenient.

This is a welcome move to improve local buses and create a more modern bus network, and will help encourage more people to choose the bus. The Government must now look to introduce a national bus investment strategy to ensure each and every community has the chance to use this new platform in the future.

Chris

Welsh Government set to reform buses

The Welsh Government is proposing to reform local bus services by giving local authorities and bus operators greater flexibility to work together to provide the best model for their area, including enhanced quality partnerships, franchising and local authority-operated services. We welcome this move and believe these proposals should be complemented by a national bus and coach investment strategy for Wales; a framework for smart ticketing and multi-operator ticketing; and a statutory independent body to monitor performance and speak for passengers. You can read more about the proposals and our thoughts on them in our briefing paper for the Senedd Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee.

On the buses in Belgium

Our sustainable transport campaigner, Bridget Fox, was in Ghent in Belgium last month and has written this blog for our website which looks at how the medieval city has embraced the mobility challenges of the 21st Century in a way that sets an inspiring example for communities beyond its borders. 

Photo by Bas Bogaerts, © Stad Gent – Dienst Toerisme

BBC Politics Live Needs You!

The BBC is making a short film about the costs and future of transport in the UK and is looking for people to interview who agree with one of more of the following statements:

  • I rely on public transport that is under threat
  • I find public transport increasingly expensive and/or unfit for purpose
  • I am involved in local solutions/alternative community transport
  • I feel passionately that the UK government should be doing more to help make public transport better and cheaper. 

Filming will take place on Thursday 18 April and Tuesday 23 April 2019, so you will need to be available on one of these dates.

If you’d like to take part in the film, please email adam.smith04@bbc.co.uk with a little about yourself and why you want to take part. 

More clean buses

The Clean Bus Technology Fund has had a £25 million boost from the government to allow a further 14 local authorities to upgrade buses with technology to reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions in areas with poor air quality. 20 local authorities have already benefited from the fund to help them bring buses up to low emission standards.

Bad news for Shropshire bus passengers?

Shropshire Council is proposing to cut local bus services and increase fares on Shrewbury’s Park & Ride in a bid to save more than £450,000. The routes and services under threat are outlined on the council’s website, and the public consultation on the proposals is open until 6th May.

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