Leicester Bus Partnership celebrates first year of progress

Posted: 5 June 2023 | | No comments yet

The Leicester Bus Partnership has transformed public transportation in the region by offering accessible and affordable contactless ticketing, sustainable bus services and an enhanced website experience for passengers.

Leicester Bus Partnership celebrates first year of progress

Credit: Leicester City Council

Leicester City Council has announced that the Leicester Bus Partnership, a joint effort between local bus operators and the city council, has achieved significant progress in its first year of operation. Launched in May 2022, the partnership aimed to improve bus services and routes in the region by bringing together various stakeholders.

The partnership’s long-term plan set out to achieve 100 key improvements by 2025, focusing on electric buses, reliability, frequency, ease of use and affordability. After one year, the Leicester Bus Partnership has announced that it has completed 75% of its planned improvements, with the remaining initiatives on track for completion by summer 2024.

Notable achievements include the introduction of contactless ticketing, offering passengers capped fares for their trips. The partnership has also launched six Greenlines routes, with 24 new electric buses, including the recently unveiled free Hop! city centre circular. The eco-friendly St Margaret’s Bus and Coach Station has also been opened, and over 600 real-time displays and 450 new shelters have been installed at key bus stops.

Furthermore, the bus network has been optimised with co-ordinated timetables and the removal of duplicated services. Discounted ticketing options have been made available to specific groups, such as the unemployed, Park and Ride users, eligible pupils and health workers. New bus lanes have also been introduced to improve traffic flow and a comprehensive website has been launched to provide information on ticketing and services.

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According to the city council, looking ahead, the Leicester Bus Partnership plans to introduce 86 electric buses across the Firstbus network, with the majority expected to be operational between May and September 2023. Arriva will also deploy 24 electric buses on key routes. In addition, significant bus priority measures will be implemented on Abbey Lane, Anstey Lane and Bennion Road, while more real-time information displays will be installed on major routes.

If projections hold true, it is expected that by the end of 2023, half of Leicester’s bus travellers will be using electric buses, benefiting from improved and cost-effective services.

Leicester Deputy City Mayor for Transportation, Climate Emergency and Clean Air, Councillor Adam Clarke, said: “This is fantastic progress, and shows what can be gained by working together on a common goal to improve transport across the city and nearby areas. The partnership approach has enabled us to look at what changes would really benefit passengers, and to support the bus operators in making improvements as part of an overall plan for the city.”

Chair of the Leicester Bus Partnership Forum, Dawn Badminton-Capps, said: “Despite the lack of government funding, Leicester City Council Enhanced Partnership has achieved some excellent results in just its first year. The board and its partners will continue to build on this success and strive to deliver the best services possible for Leicester’s buses.”