Issued by City of York Council
York is one of only four areas across the country to be awarded a share of the £16.5million new Better Bus Area funding, designed to drive up bus performance and passenger numbers.
Following City of York Council’s bid to the Department for Transport supported by the Quality Bus Partnership, York will now be designated as a Better Bus Area, enabling the council and bus operators’ to continue working together to improve the bus service, particularly its punctuality and co-ordination.
Within the Better Bus Area, which covers an inner York area, including Holgate, parts of Acomb and Dringhouses, Bootham, Tang Hall and South Bank, bus operators will hand some of the Bus Service Operators Grant they receive from HM Treasury to the Quality Bus Partnership.
In return, the council will invest this money towards measures to assist bus services, and the DfT will add another 20 per cent.
Altogether, the bid is worth £1.4 million between now and 2018, with £1 million being provided by bus operators, £200,000 from City of York Council and £200,000 from the DfT’s top-up payment.
Working together the council and operators will prioritise how the money is used on measures that will include:
· Improvements to traffic signals and small changes to kerblines to help buses across junctions
· Funding to continue with successful features of the Better Bus Area funding won by the council in 2012, including the city’s Bus Warden, officers in the Traffic Management and Control Centre who respond to incidents on the bus network and work with operators to keep buses on time and the Bus Enquiry Point at the Railway Station
· Later in the programme there will be sufficient funding to pay for short lengths of new bus lanes where they are needed.
Cllr Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability, said: “We are thrilled that the hard work of York’s bus operators and the council has been recognised.
“The council’s aim is to increase the number of bus passengers in York by 18 per cent by 2015 and these new measures will help towards achieving this.
“By working closely with local bus operators to drive through further improvements on York’s bus network we will continue to improve service reliability and offer more incentives to travel by bus – such as First’s recent initiative of reducing bus fares and Transdev’s work developing smartcards.
“This will also enable our existing programme of work to continue and transform the network by building on our own initiatives to provide new interchange areas in the city centre and dedicated staff to assist passengers with their journeys.”
Ben Gilligan, Managing Director of First York said “First are very happy to work with City of York Council to further improve service reliability.
“The designation of York as a better bus area fits with the work we are doing to make York’s network even better and even more attractive to passengers.”
John Carr, Independent Chair of York’s Quality Bus Partnership said: “It’s great that the operators and City of York have been successful in this application and can enhance their work together to improve the network through a more effective partnership.”
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