The West of England Combined Authority has published its long-awaited Bus Strategy Consultation Document. The travelling public is invited to read the document and to respond before March 15th. The document is strong on aspirations but weak on ways to fund and achieve them. The strategy document and consultation papers can be found via https://travelwest.info/projects/transport-consultations
Key elements of the section on rural services:
Some rationalisation of services to provide more consistent routes, consistent start and end points, and easy-to-understand clockface departure time
Peripheral transfer hubs that will also serve as locations where low-frequency rural services can operate as feeders into longer-distance inter-urban services.
Inter-urban and other rural services should aim for operating hours which align well with other urban services they connect to.
A rural/inter-urban network with a small number of ‘hubs’ in towns and other destination points, could also be connected by demand responsive and community transport services.
The network options need to include a detailed assessment of their impact on rural communities. This may include recommendations on more rural services and funding opportunities.
The management and pricing of parking provision will directly impact on people’s tendency to use the bus and the ability to grow passenger numbers.