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Author Topic: North Somerset bus improvement plans for the next 3 years  (Read 371 times)
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« on: June 27, 2022, 03:38:33 pm »

I will say a mute halle..... for this first part....
The ..lujah comes when I see the evidence on the ground.

North Somerset bus services to transform with £105m improvement plan
Bus services in North Somerset will be transformed over the next three years thanks to a major investment programme by North Somerset Council in partnership with the West of England Combined Authority.
These improvements will also accelerate the decarbonisation of transport – a key priority for the council as part of its commitment to tackle the climate emergency.

Following a successful bid to the Department for Transport (DfT» (Department for Transport - about)), over £105m funding is allocated for improvements, with £48m earmarked for capital improvements in North Somerset alone. £57.5m will be used as a pooled revenue fund with the West of England Combined Authority to enable delivery of the Bus Service Improvement Plan. The final funding amount will be confirmed by the DfT later this year

At their meeting on Wednesday 22 June, North Somerset Council’s Executive made a recommendation that the Council approves the commissioning plan to deliver the Bus Service Improvement Plan. This will see bus priority measures on key roads including the A370, A369 and A38.

Improvements will include:

An ambitious fares support package to ensure that buses remain excellent value as inflationary costs impact on the bus industry.

A significant increase in the current bus network, delivering a comprehensive network of services with frequency standards matched to the population densities and demands.

Higher bus frequencies in our towns and urban areas, offering a good range of destinations and connections including with rail. Major towns should expect a minimum frequency of 60 minutes, with many increased to every 30 or 20 minutes on priority corridors such as the A370, A369 and A38.

A range of bus services to support the 24/7 economy, providing improvements to the early morning, evening, night, and weekend services.

A single bus network with every vehicle and bus stop identifiable as part of the network, through a common brand.

Reliable, faster and consistent journey times.

The improvements will be delivered through an ‘Enhanced Partnership’ model, to be approved by the DfT. This is a statutory agreement between local transport authorities, bus operators and highway authorities under which each party makes legally binding commitments to improve bus services and the facilities associated with them.
An Enhanced Partnership has the potential to bring about improvements quickly, and it puts in place a framework under which future bus service improvements can be delivered as the capital schemes are delivered.

We have declared a climate emergency and transport decarbonisation is an essential part of our action plan to reduce emissions to net zero in North Somerset. Around 43 per cent of our carbon emissions are from transport and we cannot continue to use the car in the same way as we have done for the previous 50 years.

This funding package offers a truly transformational level of funding, eclipsing anything previously seen in public transport in the history of North Somerset Council. The investment represents a genuine opportunity to deliver many of the 2030 carbon reduction targets, by improving the effectiveness of public transport to a level that creates a genuine alternative to the use of private vehicles.

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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2022, 06:04:04 pm »

Maybe they could "arrange" to have monthly local meetings so the public can put forward their views,if things are going wrong or right.
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2022, 04:14:01 pm »

There IS actually such a meeting 7.30pm at the Folk Hall,Portishead tomorrow (Wednesday)
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2022, 08:40:54 am »

I attended the above meeting via Zoom and made the following notes:

Bus service meeting Folk Hall 29th June 7.30 pm
Carl Nicholson, manager NSom, Lee Murphy, planner and Chris Hanson Ops director First (lives in Portishead, has been a driver before management role)

Announcement of 105m bus grant to N.Som 48m bus lanes, infrastructure etc, rest 53m on services.
Shopping list….
1)   an enhanced x5 service Portishead to Cribbs,Colleges and Southmead
Funding released in Oct, 3 months to register, find drivers, Easter 2023 target start. Raison d’etre is College services to WSM, meeting with them tomorrow
2)   Improved x4 frequency to just turn up and go e.g every 10/15 mins, no need to look at timetable.
3)   Review of supported services to see if any can run as commercial services
4)   59 relatively well used, 57 growing
5)   Biggest issue is return of trust by passengers
6)   Creation of bus interchanges in Portisheadd Clevedon Nailsea like as in WSM
Sainsburys site unlikely, Combe Road has land available either side.

Need for better co-ordination of timetables. Present x4/5 cited as bad.
            Aim for 57, 59 to become hourly. Present service praised for good time keeping.
Concern expressed for Gordano school pupils, expected to walk if under 2 miles from a bus stop. Narrow pavements by Grange lodge…but been like this since 1960s.
56 not advertised, been running since June 2021 under emergency funding,Hastily arranged, likely to disappear. Looking at some sort of DRT replacement.
57 needs a big bus for schools services at beginning/end of day. /
Lots of stops no longer in use. What is a ‘local’ bus as defined by notices on bus stops ?
Unable to recycle many bus shelters as they rust and rot at ground level.
Too many adverts eg McDonalds, what revenue do NSom get? A team of 3 to cover 700 stops. Need for a much bigger team on the ground in order to implement the BIP.

CH - most significant driver shortage ever (except Basildon depot) recently had 14% pay rise taking average driver salary to 27k.WSM depot now levelled up to Bristol rates. All x4 services now out of Bristol not WSM due to hold ups at J19/21.Patronage up 5%

160 drivers short, also have 100 agency staff. Recruitment roadshows every weekend, aimed at 18-28 yr olds who have never driven at all.
Proposed August changes now moved to mid Oct. New tap on readers on buses operational from July 1st . A Phd Cribbs service is only likely to use M5 between J19 and I8, diverted around Lawrence Weston etc to improve patronage
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