An Audit Commission inspection team gave the service two stars because it is valued by its customers and is delivered to a good standard. Leicestershire is also doing well compared with similar councils in terms of expenditure and public satisfaction.
Mike White, comissioning inspector, Central Region said:
'The council works well with partners and has an active and innovative approach to developng services which meet the public transport needs of most local people. Special services, for customers who find it difficult to use mainstream services, and community transport services are highly valued by users and are supported by clear service information. The council has used the best value review to thoroughly assess the nature and quality of its public transport services and to develop a strong framework for change and improvement.'
* customers value the service and it is delivered to a good standard;
* the council works well with partners and has an active and innovative approach to developing services;
* comparisons with other similar services show that Leicestershire is performing well.
However, there is scope for Leicestershire to further improve the service by addressing weaknesses in:
* the monitoring of service reliability
* the enforcement of contracts and service standards
* the promotion of interchange opportunities and the provision of up to date information on bus and rail services
* giving customers a high quality of service on, and off, the bus
To help the service improve, inspectors made a number of recommendations, including:
* That the council should introduce a clear reporting system that provides customers with regular reports on performance, and shows local people what services are like.
* As an aid to enforcement and monitoring activity, the council should develop key quality criteria for scoring contract bus services, based on what matters to customers, and covering all aspects of the user's experience.
At the time of the inspection, 16 FTE staff provided the service under review. The total cost of the service for 2001/02 was£2,748,000 (estimate).