A new scheme could see improvements for people who travel by bus across Lichfield and Burntwood.

Bus stop

Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet are due to discuss whether or not to sign up to the Government’s Bus Back Better programme.

The initiative allows authorities to bid for funding over a fixed period to support operators by taking steps such as updating old vehicles and improving passenger facilities.

Cllr David Williams, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said:

“Pre-pandemic there were 14.6 million passenger journeys a year in Staffordshire, though that had fallen by a third over the previous decade.

“There is an opportunity here to bid for money which can be used to help modernise bus fleets, improve bus stops to make them more comfortable and provide better information, as well as encouraging operators to come forward with ideas to build services.”

Cllr David Williams, Staffordshire County Council

If the proposal is backed, the money could be used to fund technology to allow ‘tap on, tap off’ phone payment, revamped shelters, raised kerbs at stops and more real-time displays.

“There’s no doubt that a reliable, comfortable bus service can support a retail and leisure economy, help people get to work, or provide more choice further afield for students deciding where to study.

“At the same time investment in greener, cleaner bus fleets can make a huge difference to air quality in certain areas.

“If we enter this scheme we will be working closely with operators and encouraging them to develop ideas which can use this funding as a launch pad for a self-sustaining future.”

Cllr David Williams, Staffordshire County Council

Authorities must decide this month whether they wish to join the scheme and create an “enhanced partnership” with operators in time for funding to be available from April next year.

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3 Comments

  1. I think the council and bus company need to look at improving service not comfort especially on the Lichfield circular route.. the last bus leaves the bus station on a weekday at 5.45pm and on a Saturday 4.45pm ..the workers or anyone wanting to travel outside of Lichfield must feel as if they are under a curfew !!

  2. To give a historical perspective, many of the problems we have with public transport are the result of the Tories privatising it many years ago. It is a public service and should in public hands and under public control. I see many busses travelling around Lichfield empty, something that has been exacerbated by the pandemic making people avoid public transport. No private company will tolerate that indefinitely. Chicken and egg situation, as the services need to be there to encourage people to use them, but aren’t likely to be provided by private companies unless enough people are using them.

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