West Sussex County Council approved and adopted the BSIP which will replace WSCC Bus Strategy that was previously adopted in 2018. This BSIP outlines targets for Bus Transport within the council as well as measures that could be taken along with priorities.
- To recover bus service to pre-pandemic levels & to grow and improve the quality of the bus provision in the county
- More bus priority schemes designed to enhance reliability & reduce journey times
- To provide a bus network that delivers the needs of all users at most hours of the day
- Simplify fares & ticketing, and reducing fares for some groups
- Improved services for rural areas
- Technical & Operational innovation such as zero-emission buses & decarbonisation programme
- To continue and to enhance our co-operation with bus operators to stabilise and improve commercial bus services
- To provide new services through pump priming where demand can be identified
- To implement bus priority measures that will improve reliability and achieve 95% punctuality
- To introduce a new discounted concessionary bus travel scheme for children and young people, including all under 30s (max age dependant on funding) resident in West Sussex and East Sussex
- To increase bus service provision on main corridors and urban areas throughout the day and for evenings and weekends
- Progressively to support operators in increasing the number of Zero Emission Buses used on the network, and to assist operators to upgrade existing diesel buses to Euro VI standard as part of the drive to achieve net carbon neutrality by 2050
- To improve accessibility and quality of bus services for disabled and disadvantaged people
- Create a series of Digital Demand Responsive Transport (DDRT) services based on Mobility as a Service (MaaS) principles to benefit our rural areas, for which feasibility studies have already been undertaken, and to implement these in cooperation with East Sussex County Council
- Create Mobility Hubs in key locations, which will be smaller towns with potential interchange connections for different public transport services and modes – these hubs will also link with routes from the County Council’s Walking and Cycling Strategy
- To improve marketing, promotion and information for bus services
- Journey Times Reductions
- Number of Passengers carried each year
- Passenger satisfaction
- The percentage of households with access to a bus service
- Percentage of households within 30 minutes, 60 minutes & 90 minutes of a town centre
- Percentage of households with access to a DDRT
- The proportion of buses that meet emissions standards
- Proportion of bus stops that have been assessed
What changes are coming about as a result of the BSIP?
Bus Priority Infrastructure
Bus Lanes along the A259 (Westbound) approaching the A27 Bognor Road Roundabout. Says “using existing road space”, which would suggest making Lane 1 bus only instead of widening the dual carriageway to three lanes. This is expected to cost £6.2m, although those costs may be part of a wider scheme.
Bus priority features along key junctions of the A259 as outlined in this previous post. £5m would be requested from the DfT Bus fund, whilst £25m from the MRN fund. This includes bus priority measures such as traffic signals on approaches to roundabouts & bus-only roundabout bypasses.
Bus Priority Measures on Mill Road, Burgess Hill costing £200k
Bus Lane on Queen Elizabeth Avenue Eastbound in Burgess Hill costing £100k
Bus Gates in Burgess Hill at Victoria Gardens/London Road & Station Road/Queen Elizabeth Avenue. Of which these are both odd choices since they don’t current have buses along these movements and Victoria Gardens/London Road is currently a narrow cycle/footway link. These bus gates have £306k earmarked for them
Various improvements in addition at Horsham, Crawley & Mid Sussex to improve bus flow, outlined as £5.5m
Enforcement of bus lanes (ANPR), clearways (Enforcement Officers x2) as well as enforcing not parking on junctions with TRO order for all junction on Bus Routes.
Other changes are planned to improve journey times & passenger satisfaction in addition to Road Changes.
35 Traffic Signal Junction across the county will be upgraded to “TLP Advance Signal Control System”. This can detect buses & coaches in traffic, and can determine when they are behind schedule which then prioritises them. This will be rolled out at £50k per junction for new controllers & software at a total cost of £1.75m
In Adur district along the Coastliner route £240k will be spent on improved bus stops.
In Mid Sussex between Crawley & Copthorne, bus stop laybys will be removed as they cause delay to buses pulling out.
The plans suggests that mobility hubs could be a good way to increase passenger usage. In rural areas this includes shelters, bike/scooter racks & hire along with connections with other modes of transport such as Active Travel Routes & Drop off-pick up bays for cars.
In Urban Areas the hubs would be larger, and could be located where multiple services crossover or connections to rail. These locations would have same facilities as rural ones, but with additional features such as cafes,
Improving the Real Time Information Screens by providing them at 342 stops currently without, as well as replacing 52 current screens which have reached the end of their service life. Additional screens are also planned at larger stops & interchanges.
A new Bus/Rail interchange replacing current bus station in Crawley. This will cost £6.2m and will be delivered in over 4 years time.
Tap on & Tap off contactless systems to be installed on all 473 buses. This will cost £1.52m to install and should be complete within 2 years. Tickets will be reformed to work across multiple operators and have ticket capping to make using the bus easier.
On bus announcement systems for all 473 buses to improve inclusiveness for visually impaired people costing £2.37m
Zero Emission Buses to cover the cost between a regular bus and a zero Emission one for operators. With £10m in the budget for the next 4 years. A further £3.6m will be provided to retrofit engines in the existing fleet to Euro6 standards.