Have your say on our Bus Survey
Buses are the country's favourite mode of public transport - used more often than trains and from more stopping-places across the country.
Issued on: 27 July 2021.
The majority of people use them from getting teenagers to college, pensioners to see their friends, and connecting people to jobs they couldn't otherwise travel to. Buses sustain town centres, strengthen communities and help towards protecting the environment. As a lifeline and saviour, the double-decker bus is a symbol of Britain.
COVID-19 has caused a significant shift from public transport to the private car but we need to shift back quickly by making essential improvements to local public transport as normal life returns. Buses are the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to do that.
Even before the pandemic started, the Government had committed £3bn of new money during the current Parliament to improve buses across England. Armed with that transformational funding, the National Bus Strategy will 'build back better'. Its central aim is to get more people travelling by bus. However, this can only be achieved if buses are made more practical and attractive as an alternative to the car for more people.
By the end of October 2021, we are expected to submit our Bus Services Improvement Plan (BSIP) to the Department for Transport. The BSIP will outline how we at the Council, alongside bus operators with services in the district, can achieve the overarching goal of the National Bus Strategy, which is to increase bus patronage, both to restore it to its pre pandemic level and thereafter boost it to raise the buses share of the market. In order to achieve this, we have decided to put together a survey for residents asking for your views on the current local bus services in West Berkshire, and if you have any suggestions for possible improvements.
Cllr Richard Somner, Executive Member for Planning, Transport and Countryside at West Berkshire Council, said:
"We would really like as many people as possible to have their say so it is important that both bus users and non-bus users take the time to complete this survey.
"Information from you on how you feel about the current bus services in our district, and your suggestions of how our bus services could be improved, will form a vital part of our BSIP.
"The Department for Transport will allocate funding to Local Transport Authorities (West Berkshire Council in our case) on the strengths and ambitions of the BSIPs they receive. Please do find the time to take part and have your say in this survey to provide us the information we need to submit the best BSIP we can."
To take part, please read the consultation document first and then complete the online survey by midnight on Friday 30 August 2021. The more response we have to the survey, the better our Bus Services Improvement Plan will be for local residents, businesses and the economy.