After a challenging couple of years for the bus and coach sector, yesterday’s announcement of the Levelling Up White Paper contains some provisions that should give the industry some cautious hope.
With bus ridership levels still reeling from the impact of the pandemic, it’s been interesting to note that there is high-level acknowledgement that London’s public transport network is substantially different from that of the rest of the UK. Therefore, the paper’s statement that “by 2030, local public transport connectivity across the country will be significantly closer to the standards of London, with improved services, simpler fares and integrated ticketing” is potentially good news indeed. Anything that makes it cheaper and easier to catch a bus while reducing waiting times will encourage more people to hop on board.
As ever though, the devil will be in the detail. Ambition is clearly very high – and we look forward to seeing decisive action to deliver it. Buses can provide essential mobility for all, while also helping reduce emissions, both with their capacity, and the ever-increasing number of zero-emission vehicles joining key routes. Now that’s truly levelling up.