An opportunity for passengers to tell Kent County Council about their experiences of using bus services has received over 250 responses since being launched in January.
At a meeting of the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee, Members heard that, on average, there has been 53 comments left each month.
KCC’s Bus Feedback Portal is available at www.kent.gov.uk/busfeedback and allows people to provide details on their experiences of the services they use.
This information can then be used by the council to try and improve services through its Quality Bus Partnerships and conversations with bus operators.
Contact information and details as to how and who to complain on various bus matters is also available at the site.
KCC cabinet member for transport Mike Whiting said: “One of the things that came up during our recent Big Conversation bus meetings was that people had a lot of views on their local bus services.
“We decided to act on that and created the opportunity that allows our constituents to voice any concerns they have and know that we will bring them to the table.
“Although private companies run bus services, we have a good relationship with them and we very much welcome feedback to help ensure we can have a fast and reliable bus network in Kent.”
Since 1985, the operation of bus services has been in the hands of private companies, not public bodies.
The Transport Act 1985 privatised and deregulated bus services throughout Great Britain.
Since this change, KCC has had no regulatory powers over where services run and does not have the ability to alter changes made by private companies running the buses – nor do they need to notify KCC.
This is the case right across the UK, though bus services in London were not deregulated and so Transport for London still specify its routes, fares, and the number of services.
KCC can subsidise bus routes but only has a small budget with which to do so.
In a bid to better support rural bus services, KCC recently launched a series of bus pilots: