New plan sets out aspirations for the future of Kent’s bus services

A new plan has been published setting out how Kent County Council hopes to sustain and improve bus services in the future.

As part of the Government’s National Bus Strategy, launched in March 2021, all Local Transport Authorities including KCC were asked to form ambitious proposals and submit them alongside a funding bid to central Government by the end of October.

Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, David Brazier

The document, called the Bus Service Improvement Plan, sets out a vision to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and sustain existing services and then improve all aspects of service provision including; infrastructure, the impact of services on the environment, fares, ticketing and innovation.

It was drawn up following consultations with Kent’s bus operators and following public and stakeholder engagement. The Kent Bus Service Improvement Plan will now be assessed by Government against its own National Bus Strategy and used to decide how much funding the council gets.

Further work, which is also set out in the plan, will be done to enhance the relationships with bus companies and encourage more services for local people.

Kent County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, David Brazier, said: “This is an ambitious plan but we only want the very best for the residents of Kent.

“Whilst the majority of services are operated commercially in Kent, we have some fantastic relationships with our bus operators, and through our Quality Bus Partnerships we already work collaboratively and in a targeted way for the good of the bus network and its users.

“In order to realise our climate objectives we know public transport will play a vital role. This presents us with an opportunity to really press for the money we need to roll out a first-class public transport system but first we must ensure that we can keep current services operating whilst passengers return to using buses after the pandemic.”

A total of £212 million will be needed by Government in order to deliver the proposals KCC is asking for within the document.

The plan, which was submitted to the Department for Transport on 29th October, is available to view by visiting https://letstalk.kent.gov.uk/busfuture.

New plan sets out aspirations for the future of Kent’s bus services was last modified: November 5th, 2021 by Ellis Stephenson