Staffordshire Unveils Plan to Enhance Bus Services for Travelers

By Ivan PetrenkoJun 23, 2024 05:30 AMNews
Aerial view of Staffordshire, showcasing towns, villages, and lush green fields
New bus routes to connect Staffordshire better. Source: unsplash

Staffordshire County Council has unveiled a comprehensive plan to enhance bus services, promising significant benefits for travelers across the region. The council, although not directly managing bus services, plays a key role in coordinating public transport and securing additional funding to improve travel options.

The Bus Service Improvement Plan aims to make bus travel more appealing and reliable, addressing the decline in passenger numbers. By working with bus companies and utilizing national funding, the plan focuses on creating a seamless and efficient travel experience.

Key goals of the plan include better connections between towns, villages, and major transport hubs like railway stations. This means easier and more convenient travel for tourists exploring Staffordshire’s scenic spots and cultural landmarks. Additionally, the plan aims to increase the number of urban residents living within 400 meters of an hourly bus service, ensuring frequent and accessible transportation options.

For those traveling through busy routes, the plan promises improvements using dedicated bus lanes to bypass traffic delays, making journeys quicker and more predictable. Enhancing cross-boundary connections to neighboring regions will also open up more travel opportunities for visitors.

Collaboration with bus operators is essential to the plan’s success. The council will encourage operators to promote special fare offers and expand the use of The Knot integrated ticket, making it easier for tourists to navigate the public transport system. There will also be efforts to improve the recruitment, training, and retention of bus drivers, ensuring a high level of service. Investments in new high-quality and zero-emission buses will enhance the travel experience, providing comfort and sustainability.

Local improvements, pending funding, include upgrades to bus stations in Lichfield and Leek, and improved walking and cycling routes to bus stops. In Stafford, a developer-funded bus gate will connect Burleyfields and Doxey, enhancing local travel. Real-time passenger information at busy stops and new information points in towns will help travelers stay informed and plan their journeys efficiently. The plan also supports the introduction of electric buses, contributing to greener travel options.

Dave Atkinson, Staffordshire County Council’s assistant director for connectivity and sustainability, emphasized the plan’s potential to transform travel in the region. He highlighted the council's commitment to working with operators to support and coordinate better services, aiming to make bus travel a preferred choice for both residents and visitors.

Approved by the county council’s cabinet on June 19, the Bus Service Improvement Plan is set to make traveling around Staffordshire more convenient and enjoyable, ensuring better connectivity and enhanced travel options for all.

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