£105million needed to get Derbyshire’s bus network moving
A plan to put Derbyshire’s struggling bus services on the road to recovery will cost up to £105million of Government funding.
Derbyshire County Council is applying for the cash from central Government to support its Bus Service Improvement Plan, which aims to help bus operators recover while reducing the number of vehicles on the roads.
The authority estimates it will need £95-£105million of funding to deliver the strategy over a five year period from 2022/23.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting, member for highways and transport Councillor Kewal Singh Athwal said bus services had been in decline for some time.
“This decline has been increased by the effects of Covid,” he added.
Leader of the council Barry Lewis said: “We’re trying to get people off the roads onto buses.
“The first step in doing that is making sure we have got a sustainable network in the first place and one that provides decent high quality buses as well.”
In developing the strategy, the authority consulted numerous stakeholders, including bus user groups, district and borough councils, disability groups and the Peak District National Park Authority.
More than 2,000 members of the public took part in a survey asking what they thought would improve bus services and encourage them to use them more in the future.
As a result of this consultation, key proposals laid out in the strategy include –
Increase in number of roadside Real Time Information signs
Measures to improve integration between bus and rail services
Introduction of more environmentally friendly buses including hydrogen powered vehicles
Expansion of existing system providing bus priority at traffic signals
Improvements in the frequency and hours of operation