Suffolk County Council to improve standard of bus journeys

Suffolk County Council have signed a charter, along with multiple bus operators, to improve the standard of bus journeys in Suffolk

Members of the Suffolk Enhanced Partnership at the launch of the bus passenger charter – Daniel Butterfield, left, of Go East Anglia, Justin Wythe of Ipswich Buses, Councillor Alexander Nicoll, Steve Wickers, managing director of First Eastern Counties, Councillor Leigh Jamieson of the Green group at Babergh District Council, and Dean Robbie of Stevensons of Essex. (Picture: SCC)

The Bus Passenger Charter sets out a minimum and consistent level of service to be met by drivers and their company towards passengers. The charter has a wide range of pledges setting out what passengers are entitled to, they include:  

  • Information about service disruptions will be posted on bus company websites, apps and social media. 
  • A recognisable bus stop with access to an up-to-date timetable, contact information and real-time displays at major stops. 
  • Passengers will be able to pay to travel by contactless, mobile apps or smartcards – not just cash – and tickets will be easy to understand. 
  • Passengers can expect buses to be clean, comfortable and accessible.  
  • A clear consistent process for complaints, feedback and praise – with a speedy resolution.  
The Department for Transport said all Local Transport Authorities and bus operators must develop and deliver an enhanced Partnership Scheme to ensure they remain eligible to receive the bus Recovery Grant and any other future sources of bus-related funding. Without this partnership, Suffolk County Council has found, it could lose more than £600,000 of its existing £1.58 million budget.  
Councillor Alexander Nicoll, the chair of the Enhanced Partnership and Suffolk County Council Deputy Cabinet Member for Transport Strategy said, “This is a significant step for bus service provision in Suffolk. We want to get more people using the bus in Suffolk, and by introducing and implementing these high standards they will see how the bus offers a welcoming, convenient, and reliable way of getting out and about. 
“More people on buses means reduced congestion on our roads and in our villages and towns, freeing up road space for those that really need it and producing a cleaner environment which benefits everyone.”