The government published its National Bus Strategy for England ‘Bus Back Better’ in March 2021, requiring Local Authorities to work in partnership with bus operators to improve their local bus services and encourage more people to use them.
In response to the National Bus Strategy, Southampton City Council first published its Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) for Southampton in October 2021, in collaboration with the City’s bus operators and other stakeholders. The Bus Service Improvement Plan 2022 is now available to download.
The document sets out our long-term vision for buses up to 2030, based on nine ambitions for bus travel in the city. These include measures that will speed up bus journey times and reliability, make bus travel more affordable, improve bus passenger facilities such as SuperStops, and further develop the Southampton Mass Transit System – a long-term ambition.
At its Cabinet meeting on 14 March 2023, Southampton City Council gave approval to proceed with the making of its Enhanced Partnership. This date and notice then marks the start of the plan, as required and set out in section 138G of the Transport Act 2000.
A copy of the Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme is available here.
The Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) 2022 has been published, following the first annual BSIP review. The revised document includes additional feedback, the latest statistics and more information on monitoring and targets, along with further clarity regarding the emerging governance process and progress over the last year.
Here is a summary of our key achievements during 2022:
- Working with the NHS to open the Southampton West Park & Ride site for staff working at the General Hospital;
- New bus lane on Coxford Road-Lordshill Way and junction improvements including bus priority at the Brownhill Way-Frogmore Lane junction;
- Upgrades to the traffic signal junctions at Thomas Lewis Way-St Denys Road and at Charlotte Place, to provide bus priority;
- Bus priority installed at traffic signal junctions on Portsmouth Road with Station Road and at Wrights Hill;
- Upgrades to 18 bus stops with raised kerbs, road markings etc;
- Tap On Tap Off Readers installed, in partnership with bus operators, on all buses operating in the city which will allow the introduction of new types of bus fares;
- Launch of the Breeze ‘Mobility as a Service’ app;
- 43 bus shelters replaced;
- Completion of a post-COVID network review;
- Trials of two new fare offers; £1 Evening Fare and Group Fare Offer (‘Five for Fiver’);
- Updating the Bus Passenger Charter covering Southampton and Hampshire;
- Developed and submitted funding business cases for ZEBRA and Levelling Up Fund.
The BSIP is also supported by new appendices setting out the Solent BSIP package (Appendix 1), and scheme details for New Road (Appendix 5), Albion Place Hub Interchange (Appendix 6) and Southampton Central Station Interchange (Appendix 7)
Enhanced Bus Partnership
The Enhanced Bus Partnership Plan and Scheme was agreed at Cabinet on 14 March 2023. This details how we will work together to deliver the BSIP’s ambitions, including individual and joint obligations between local bus operators and the Council.
The first Enhanced Partnership Board meeting took place on 28 April 2023. Key notes from the first meeting and future meetings will be published to this webpage
An Enhanced Partnership Forum for wider stakeholders is proposed to take place in November 2023. Members of the public will also be able to further input via the new Accessibility Forum and an annual bus survey.
Enhanced Partnership Board Meeting 28th April 2023 - Draft Notes and Actions.
Bus Service Improvement Plan Survey
The City Council holds an annual bus user survey to help us understand travel habits in Southampton and what developments would enable more bus users and non-bus users to travel in more sustainable ways. Findings from the 2021 survey are summarised below. The 2022 survey will help us better understand the current issues and develop the Enhanced Partnership.
Below is a summary of the 2021 survey results (click images to enlarge):