Skip to main content

Bus Services: Standards

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 135486, tabled on 30 January 2023

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he is taking steps to support local governments and combined authorities in holding bus companies to account for their service delivery.

Answered on

7 February 2023

The National Bus Strategy, published in March 2021, set out the Government’s vision for delivering better bus services for passengers across England. All local transport authorities (LTAs) have been asked to improve their bus services using the powers set out in the Transport Act 2000, to meet the requirements of the Strategy and qualify for government funding.

LTAs and bus operators must work together to improve punctuality, reliability, communications and overall passenger satisfaction via a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), delivering that plan either through a statutory Enhanced Partnership (EP) or franchised bus services.

BSIPs must include a mandatory passenger charter which provides all bus users with the right to expect certain standards of service on a consistent basis. In circumstances where standards are consistently missed, LTAs can refer the operator to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner.

My Department is working with the sector to develop a Bus Centre of Excellence which will provide guidance and support to LTAs and operators, to help deliver improved standards of service.