Kent Bus Service Improvement Plan

In March 2021, the government published a new National Bus Strategy which set out a framework for recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and a vision for future bus service improvements across the UK.

The national strategy placed a requirement on all Local Transport Authorities and Bus Operators to create a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), which will act as the vision for how we are going to try to improve bus services in Kent in the next few years.

Close discussions with bus operators and other parties and feedback from the public has been used to develop Kent’s BSIP and create an Enhanced Partnership (EP) that covers the whole of Kent. The EP is the method by which the elements of the BSIP, we have funding for, can be delivered. The EP is comprised of three EP Schemes, one for East Kent, West Kent and Kent Thameside.

Our first version of the Bus Service Improvement Plan and finalised (made) Enhanced Partnership Notice and Schemes are available from the Documents section on this webpage.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has indicated that we are likely to receive £35.1 million towards our Bus Service Improvement Plan. This funding comes with a set of requirements and cannot be put towards existing services. In the coming months we will be working with DfT to secure this funding and understand how it can be spent.

In March 2021, the government published a new National Bus Strategy which set out a framework for recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and a vision for future bus service improvements across the UK.

The national strategy placed a requirement on all Local Transport Authorities and Bus Operators to create a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), which will act as the vision for how we are going to try to improve bus services in Kent in the next few years.

Close discussions with bus operators and other parties and feedback from the public has been used to develop Kent’s BSIP and create an Enhanced Partnership (EP) that covers the whole of Kent. The EP is the method by which the elements of the BSIP, we have funding for, can be delivered. The EP is comprised of three EP Schemes, one for East Kent, West Kent and Kent Thameside.

Our first version of the Bus Service Improvement Plan and finalised (made) Enhanced Partnership Notice and Schemes are available from the Documents section on this webpage.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has indicated that we are likely to receive £35.1 million towards our Bus Service Improvement Plan. This funding comes with a set of requirements and cannot be put towards existing services. In the coming months we will be working with DfT to secure this funding and understand how it can be spent.

  • Update 31 August 2021

    The feedback that you have provided and the conversations that we’ve been having with our stakeholder groups have helped us start to form our Bus Service Improvement Plan and identify the aspects of bus service provision that you think we should be prioritising.

    You have told us that the service, the costs of fares and reliability are the most important things for you.

    Quicker journey times and more bus priority measures (bus lanes etc.) - 161 responses More modern buses with Wifi and stop announcements - 135 responses More frequent services that run for longer each day and at weekends - 527 responses Better waiting facilities with improved accessibility for passengers such as raised kerbs with better wheelchair access - 112 responses Improved reliability - 296 responses Better information that’s easier to access - 199 responses Lower cost fares and different payment options - 334 responses Better environmental standards - 90 responses More integrated and innovative services such as flexible, bookable services that offer direct journeys to a wider range of destinations - 179 responses Better levels of customer service and the chance to have your say - 62 responses

    You have also given us over 400 suggestions for service enhancements that we are working through to form a shortlist for inclusion within our plan.

    We are now developing our Improvement Plan and will submit to government by 31 October 2021. We then expect to receive feedback from government and confirmation of a funding allocation for Kent. This will determine how much of our Improvement Plan can be delivered through our Enhance Partnership, which we hope to consult on towards the end of the year.

  • Update 12 July 2021

    Your feedback so far is telling us that for many people, the most important thing is the bus service itself - when it runs, how frequently and to where.

    So, we now want to ask if you have any specific ideas about how to improve an existing service or if you think there is a need for new services. Tell us by responding to our second set of questions.

    We will use your suggestions to help us develop our Improvement Plan and see if they can be funded by government if our bid for funding is successful.

    Subscribe on this page (under 'Stay Informed') for further opportunities to help shape our Plan.

  • Update 28 June 2021

    We are excited about the opportunity this presents and want to ensure that our Improvement Plan reflects the views of Kent residents.

    We want to know what would make bus travel more attractive to you. Answer our first quick questions to tell us your thoughts.