City gets on the buses to try to improve public transport

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A CITY-WIDE review is due to be conducted into York’s bus services to try to increase the number of passengers using the public transport network and counter traffic congestion.

The study will form part of a wider blueprint that is being drawn up by York Council to improve the quality, reliability and punctuality of bus services which operate throughout the city.

The authority is looking to work alongside bus operators during the next few months to undertake an analysis of the existing network as well as undertake a major consultation to help refine services in a bid to bolster York’s public transport network.

The council will also look at the national context, comparing and contrasting the challenges faced in York with those in other towns and cities in the country.

York Council’s cabinet member for city strategy, Councillor Dave Merrett, will be asked to approve the proposed study to review and recommend improvements to York’s bus network at a decision session meeting on Thursday next week.

Coun Merrett said: “The council is committed to working with bus passengers, bus operators and key local stakeholders to develop and deliver a bus network which better meets the aspirations and needs of existing and potential new bus passengers.”

The consultations which are planned include a residents’ survey which will be sent to all of the 90,000 households across York to obtain feedback on the priorities of the city’s residents for the local bus network.

A survey of bus passengers is also due to be carried out, while parish councils, ward committees and residents’ associations will be asked their views to understand the needs, strengths and weaknesses of the public transport network in their local neighbourhoods.

Bus operators will be consulted, including discussions through the York quality bus partnership meetings. Other key groups, including tourism leaders from the Visit York organisation along with the York Independent Living Network and the York Youth Council will be asked to provide their opinions to understand the needs of specific groups.

Bus services across the York area involve 11 operators, nine of which are responsible for providing services that run at least hourly.