Enhanced Partnership

Notice of intent to make an Enhanced Partnership Plan and modified Enhanced Partnership Scheme

9 November 2020

The Strategic Vision for Bus clearly sets out the objective to achieve modal shift by providing exceptional service and reliability, along with improved comfort and accessibility for passengers.  The introduction of the first Sprint corridors provides a major opportunity for investment by the public and private sectors to achieve a step change in public transport that will set the foundations for benefits and improvements to bus services across the integrated transport system throughout the West Midlands.

On 9th November 2020, TfWM issued a notice of intent to make the EP Plan and a modified Scheme, following the formal consultation, as set out in section 138G of the Transport Act 2000 and Section 9 of the Bus Services Act 2017.  The modified Scheme includes changes to remove any reference to voluntary partnerships; strengthen the role of bus with walking and cycling; ensure consistent terminology for local highway authority practices and to fully align with the programme of bus priority infrastructure to be delivered in the area.

Copies of the EP Plan and modified Scheme can be found on this website.

Following this notice, all local bus operators that may be affected have been made aware of the details of the modified EP Scheme.  They have until 7th December 2020 to offer views and are entitled to object to the modified Scheme, before the EP Plan and modified Scheme can be made by the WMCA and relevant local highway authorities.

TfWM must assess all objections.  The level of objections required for the modified Scheme not to be made is set out in The Enhanced Partnership Plans and Schemes (Objections) Regulations 2018.

The geographical areas covered by this notice are shown below.

Map of Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme area

[1] As defined in the West Midlands Combined Authority Constitution

Background

At its meeting on 28th June 2019, the West Midlands Combined Authority Board gave approval for Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) to proceed with the preparation of an Enhanced Partnership (EP). 

On the 17th July 2019, TfWM issued a notice of the intention to prepare an Enhanced Partnership Plan and accompanying Enhanced Partnership Schemes. 

On the 20th December 2019, TfWM issued a notice that an EP Plan and Scheme had been prepared, as set out in section 138F of the Transport Act 2000 and Section 9 of the Bus Services Act 2017.  TfWM did not receive any operator objection to the EP Plan or Scheme.

A further review of the EP Scheme was undertaken with partners and it was agreed to issue another notice that an EP Scheme had been prepared.  On 28th February 2020, TfWM issued a notice that an Enhanced Partnership (EP) Scheme had been prepared, as set out in section 138F of the Transport Act 2000 and Section 9 of the Bus Services Act 2017.  Again, TfWM did not receive any operator objections to this EP Scheme.  

A formal (public) consultation on the proposed EP Plan and Scheme ran for 10 weeks from Monday 6th July to Sunday 13th September 2020.  The consultation responses have been thoroughly analysed for any modifications to the EP Plan and / or Scheme.  A copy of the consultation report is available on this website.  It is recommended following the review of the responses that the EP Plan is unchanged following consultation.  The EP Scheme, however, is proposed to be modified to take account of the consultation responses.   

The EP Plan and accompanying EP Scheme have been prepared in partnership with local highway authorities, local bus operators and other interested key stakeholders.  The EP Plan covers the area of the West Midlands Combined Authority[1], excluding those areas of the existing Advanced Quality Partnership Schemes in Birmingham City Centre, Solihull Town Centre and Wolverhampton City Centre.  The EP Scheme aims to support the development of improved bus services on two corridors: A34(N) Walsall – Birmingham City Centre and A45 Birmingham Airport / B425 Solihull – Birmingham City Centre.

For any further information please contact Busalliance@tfwm.org.uk