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Minister for transport John Spellar has announced a series of ...
Minister for transport John Spellar has announced a series of

performance targets to improve services for bus users.

The targets have been agreed with the Confederation of Passenger

Transport (CPT), which represents the vast majority of bus operators

in the UK. The CPT has committed its members to targets for improving

reliability, reducing the average age of the bus fleet, increasing

accessibility, and improving passenger information at bus stops.

These targets will underpin the government's overall target to

increase bus patronage nationally by 10 per cent, which was set out

in the Ten Year Plan for Transport.

The targets cover:

- Reliability: the existing reliability indicator for services in

England of mileage lost for reasons within the operator's control

will be retained. This will entail CPT members working towards a

target that requires them to run 99.5% of scheduled mileage, except

where this is affected by factors beyond their control.

- Fleet age: the CPT has committed its members in Great Britain to a

target which aims to achieve and maintain an average fleet age of 8

years or less for their vehicles which are mainly used for local

bus services, during the Ten Year Plan period.

- Accessibility: a new indicator will be introduced to track the

proportion of full size bus fleet that is fully accessible, the aim

being to ensure that 50% of vehicles are fully accessible by 2010.

- Passenger information: a new target, under which operators in

England will seek to achieve year-on-year improvement in

information at bus stops, based on DTLR national passenger

satisfaction ratings during the Ten Year Plan period.

John Spellar said:

'We want to see more reliable and better quality bus services that

are accessible to everyone and we have set a target to increase bus

usage by 10 per cent by 2010. People expect bus services to be

reliable, and I am pleased that we have re-affirmed the target for

improving performance on reliability. Continuing investment in new,

state-of-the art accessible vehicles can only help to make buses more

attractive to people who may have been prevented or deterred from

using them in the past. That is why I welcome the targets to reduce

the average age of the bus fleet and to increase the proportion of

the fleet that is fully accessible.

'If people are going to travel by bus, they need to know the basics:

where the bus goes to and what time it goes. Our surveys consistently

show that the aspect of bus travel with which users are least

satisfied is information at bus stops. This has to improve, and

that's why we've included a new target to achieve clear year-on-year


'The fact that we have now agreed these additional performance

targets with the Confederation of Passenger Transport underlines the

good working relationship that we have with the bus industry. It also

demonstrates the industry's continuing commitment to the Ten Year

Plan for Transport.'


1. The Ten Year Plan for Transport commits the government to securing

a 10% increase in bus patronage by 2010 whilst, at the same time,

securing improvements in reliability and punctuality.

2. The government first negotiated subsidiary performance targets for

bus services with the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) in

1999. It was always envisaged that they would be reviewed in 2001.

The new and re-affirmed targets are the result of further negotiation

with the CPT.

3. Progress towards the target for reliability will continue to be

measured by means of DTLR's existing quarterly panel survey of

operators, together with TfL's London operator survey. Progress on

reducing the average age of the bus fleet will be measured annually

by CPT members reporting on their bus stock. Progress on improving

accessibility will be measured by DTLR's annual survey of PSV

operators. Progress towards the target for improving passenger

satisfaction with information at bus stops will be measured by

passenger satisfaction ratings in DTLR's national survey. DTLR

recognises that responsibility for information provision is shared

between operators and local authorities and PTEs. In some areas, the

authority/PTE is mainly responsible, whilst in other areas operators

are mainly responsible.

4. The traffic commissioners have, separately, set new targets for

punctuality, under which 95% of registered services should operate

within a 'window' of not more than five minutes late or one minute

early. This target came into operation on 2 April. The government has

agreed with the CPT and the Association of Transport Co-ordinating

Officers (ATCO) to review it in 12 months time.

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