performance targets to improve services for bus users.
The targets have been agreed with the Confederation of Passenger
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.