GLOUCESTERSHIRE County Council has created its Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) 2024, which outlines the county’s long-term strategy for public transport.

Improvements planned for next year include additional bus services, with weekend and evening extensions and more electric buses.

Fifty-eight electric buses will be ordered by January 2025, following the award of nearly six million pounds by the Department for Transport (DfT) towards the funding of Zero Emission Buses. 

This would mean more than 20 percent of Gloucestershire’s buses will be electric, helping to meet the county’s carbon emission targets.

Other planned improvements include 50 new bus shelters, providing more Real Time Information (RTI) display boards, reviewing existing infrastructure and developing a bus priority programme.

In addition, The Robin, a bookable bus service, will expand into three new areas: South Cotswolds, Berkeley Vale and Tewkesbury District.

Cllr Philip Robinson, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Bus Transport said: “We want buses to be at the heart of an attractive, affordable and integrated transport system and our Bus Service Improvement Plan 2024 outlines this vision. 

“The publication of the BSIP will enable us to access a second year of funding from the Department for Transport, so we can deliver yet more improvements across the network. 

“We are committed to making bus services more reliable and appealing, as buses are a sustainable way to travel that will help us meet our carbon emission targets.”

Roads Minister Guy Opperman said: “Local people deserve a modern, reliable, and affordable public transport system. 

“It’s great to see the local council set out its vision to improve local bus services by bringing faster and more reliable buses while delivering cheaper and simpler fares, so that local residents can get around by bus more easily and with greater peace of mind.”

A report going to cabinet on Wednesday, May 15, says that the delivery of the BSIP will be measured against six targets – bus journey times, reliability, passenger numbers, network accessibility, vehicle quality and customer satisfaction.

GCC will need to submit the plans to the DfT by June 12 as a condition of receiving £2,209,623 in phase 2 funding.