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West Midlands Bus Service Improvement Plan

Background

On 15 March 2021, the Department for Transport set out the National Bus Strategy for England, to deliver better bus services for passengers, through ambitious and far-reaching reform of how services are planned and delivered.

Within the strategy there are ambitions for every local transport authority and bus operator in England to be in a statutory enhanced partnership or a franchising arrangement, using existing powers in the Bus Services Act 2017.

The strategy sets out the requirements for all local transport authorities to publish a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) to be able to access a share of the new £3 billion transformational funding from April 2022. The BSIPs are expected to set out a roadmap to better services for passengers and communities, urban and rural, and to be fully informed by local needs.

June 2021 - Enhanced Partnership

On the 28th June 2021, the WMCA made only the second Enhanced Partnership in England, and first by a Mayoral Combined Authority region.  The EP Plan covers the West Midlands, with a Scheme for the first Sprint corridor of the A34(N), A45 and B425 across Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull and Walsall.  The EP was made with the 7 constituent authorities and local bus operators.

November 2021 – West Midlands Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP)

Our West Midlands BSIP was published on 5th November 2021.  It sets out our ambitions for continued investment in our local bus services to level up the West Midlands through Better Buses, Better Journeys and Better Fares for all our residents and visitors.  

    

May 2022 – Proposed changes to the Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme

Transport for West Midlands have consulted local bus operators on proposed changes to the Enhanced Partnership (EP) Plan and Scheme. They have approved the following changes:

  • Enhanced Partnership Plan: Extend the area to include the existing areas of the Advanced Quality Partnership Schemes in the region, on expiry or revocation, whichever is earliest
  • Enhanced Partnership Scheme: Extend the area to replicate the Enhanced Partnership Plan area.  This will create one Enhanced Partnership Scheme that covers the West Midlands and allows future measures, facilities and enhanced operator standards to be included to deliver the Bus Service Improvement Plan.

TfWM will now seek political approval on the Enhanced Partnership variation. Engagement will continue with key stakeholders, including neighbouring authorities, Transport Focus, Bus Users UK, the Traffic Commissioner and the Competitions and Markets Authority.  

If you have any feedback on the proposed changes, let us know by emailing busalliance@tfwm.org.uk by 5 June 2022.