Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    I would like a new or a more frequent bus route – how will this Plan provide this? Most bus services in the BCP area are provided commercially by the bus operators. Some additional services, are funded on the basis of ‘social need’ by BCP Council, but there is limited resources to do so. Interventions in the Plan should, in due course, allow an expansion of bus services but following the pandemic the priority is to keep the existing network. A review of the services funded by BCP Council will take place as the partnership progresses with the opportunity for residents to have their say then. 

    Is this Plan able to change bus fares? It is understood that the cost of fares is an issue. Fares are set by the bus operators and need to take account of the increasing costs in the industry. The partnership is not able to specifically reduce all fares but instead will focus on better value, easier to understand fares and more options to use on all operators and other transport. 

    Why do older and some disabled people get free bus travel? This is part of the statutory English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS), where elderly and some disabled people qualify for free off-peak bus travel. BCP Council delivers the scheme locally on behalf of the Government with applicable reimbursement to the operators. 

    Why are there not mini-buses operating in the evenings and other less busy times to save costs? The costs to run mini-buses approach that of larger vehicles as the driver costs are equivalent and the comparative fuel savings are relatively small. Mini-buses are less likely to be suitable at other times. 

    Why are there not any electric buses in service in the BCP area? Vehicle costs and the supporting infrastructure at the bus depots would require significant funding. So far, BCP Council has not been able to access additional funding, partly because air quality issues are more pressing in other towns and cities. Technology in this area is developing but, with generally limited distance range of electric vehicles, this is an issue due to use of buses locally throughout the day and evenings. The Plan has anticipated the need for further investigation to provide electric buses in the BCP area.  

    Proposals to improve bus services have been mentioned before – what is different now? This Plan is backed by a comprehensive government strategy and recognition that especially after the impact of the pandemic, both national and local government need to focus on improving bus services with recognition of the benefits of effective public transport. Details of any funding available is yet to be confirmed but through government evaluation of all BSIP’s, the requirements to improve bus services will be understood. The commitment to deliver an Enhanced Partnership with binding commitments from both BCP Council and the bus operators will mean the anticipated interventions are more likely to be delivered. The opportunity provided by the National Bus Strategy allows for a better understanding of our local bus offer and this consultation means that proposals fit around residents and visitors needs. 

    Additional FAQ’s will be posted if raised throughout the consultation.