Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

SEE THE BUS AS A 'PLUS' - SAYS PRESCOTT

  • Comment
The image of the bus as a second-rate, second-class form of transport ...
The image of the bus as a second-rate, second-class form of transport

must be swept away, said deputy prime minister John Prescott today.

Speaking at the first ever bus summit, the deputy prime minister,

welcomed examples of good practice in the bus industry, but warned

that a nation-wide improvement of services was vital to attract new

passengers.

Mr Prescott announced a cash injection of£50m to boost the£1bn of government money already invested in buses each year, and welcomed a number of industry commitments made at the summit, including:

- today's launch of the first regional public transport hotline for

Yorkshire and Humberside, giving information about train and bus

timetables

- a new 'passenger's charter' developed by the National Federation of

Bus Users and the bus industry

To raise the performance of all operators, Mr Prescott announced new

national targets for bus reliability and investment and said that

operators would be held accountable to passengers through regular

satisfaction surveys.

'The governments' top priority is to put passengers first, by

ensuring that good quality, comprehensive services are available

across the country. Buses offer the cheapest, most comprehensive and

accessible form of public transport in the UK, but they too often

fall short of passenger expectations. It is time to turn our backs on

an era characterised by poor marketing, poor quality buses, confusing

networks, inflexible ticketing and constant timetable changes.'

Mr Prescott said he was pleased that the majority of the industry was

rising to the challenge of transforming and modernising bus travel in

Britain.

'Buses are crucial to local transport, and should more often be a

first choice, not a last resort. The new generation of buses can be

comfortable, clean and more accessible. New technology and better

road layouts allow buses to beat traffic jams. Manufacturers and bus

operators are working hard to provide what passengers want, and good

service is being rewarded with increasing bus use in many areas.'

NOTES

The bus summit took place at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference

Centre, London, with an invited audience of some 200 delegates

including representatives from the bus industry, local authorities,

national organisations and user groups.

The government's policy proposals for buses were set out in the

daughter document 'From workhorse to thoroughbred - a better role for

bus travel' published by DETR in March 1999. Over 9000 copies were

distributed.

The government made available in last year's Budget an extra£150m for rural transport, increased by a further£20m for England in this year's Budget. In England, local authorities have used the money to provide 1,800 new and improved rural services. The funds are also being used to support over 40 innovative rural schemes through the rural bus challenge for England, totalling£11.4m.

£15m is available for this year's challenge.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.