National Bus Strategy

Buses are the country’s favourite mode of public transport – used for twice as many journeys as trains, from thousands more stopping-places across the country. They get teenagers to college. They drive pensioners to see their friends. They connect people to jobs they couldn’t otherwise take. They sustain town centres, they strengthen communities and they protect the environment. They are lifelines and they are liberators.

The National Bus Strategy sets out an ambitious vision to dramatically improve bus services in England outside London through greater local leadership, to reverse the recent shift in journeys away from public transport and encourage passengers back to bus.

There are a number of steps in the process that we need to follow which are shown in this diagram.

Bus Partnership

To enable effective, joined up, delivery of improvements to the bus network across Torbay we need to have a partnership in place. The partnership will be formed by April 2022.

As required by the current guidance and legislation, Torbay Council placed the following public notice in the Torbay Herald Express on Wednesday 16 June 2021, to confirm Torbay Council’s proposal to develop an enhanced partnership with bus operators.

Notice of Intent to Prepare an Enhanced Partnership Plan and Schemes for Torbay June 2021

At its meeting on 20 April 2021, Torbay Council’s Cabinet supported a partnership approach with local bus operators and gave approval to proceed with the development of an Enhanced Partnership. The commencement of this is confirmed through this notice of the intention to prepare an Enhanced Partnership Plan and accompanying Enhanced Partnership Schemes, as required and set out in section 138F of the Transport Act 2000.

Following the successful submission of the Torbay Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) to the Department for Transport (DfT), we have now created a draft Enhanced Partnership (EP) which will include a Plan (The Plan) and Scheme (The Scheme) to provide a robust framework in which to deliver the BSIP in accordance with requirements set out by the DfT and in line with the Transport Act 2000 and any subsequent amendments.

The delivery of proposals set out in the BSIP are subject to the required funding being made available by the DfT through the BSIP. As such The Plan and The Scheme have been set out as a ‘shell agreement’ and will be varied to include more detail as any funding becomes clear.

You can find the full draft documentation for The Plan and The Scheme below:

Torbay Enhanced Partnership Plan
Scheme draft, December 2021

Bus Service Improvement Plan

We have developed a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) for Torbay, taking into account the supporting evidence, other policy documents, latest national strategies and stakeholder input.

  Download the improvement plan

The cabinet report can be found here

The targets and reporting data in the future will be included here.

Supporting Work

Demand Responsive Transport

We commissioned consultants WSP to assess the feasibility of procuring Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) services as a potential replacement for existing local bus services. The study,

which can be accessed via the link below, concludes that there is potential for DRT in Torbay in a limited number of areas and scenarios.

Torbay Demand Responsive Transport Feasibility Study - May 2021
A strategic, high-level assessment of the recent and ongoing developments in DRT and use this against a developed baseline of Torbay public transport and socio-economic information to assess the suitability of DRT application in the area.

Needs Assessment

Following the DRT work, we commissioned WSP to also look at a needs assessment for Torbay.

This highlighted the areas with the most (and least) potential to use bus services, but also looked at alternative travel options such as taxi and DRT. The study also considered the impact of loss of services and how accessible key areas such as town centres and Torbay Hospital are. Some information in the report is commercially sensitive but a summary will be included here when available.

Zero Emission Buses

With Stagecoach’s support, we submitted an Expression of Interest to the government’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) scheme to purchase a number of electric buses. A summary of the bid is provided below.

The bid was not successful but we will take the feedback and look at alternative options for delivery. We will carry out a study into the opportunities and readiness of the infrastructure to support zero emission buses and to look at what is needed to develop a zero emission network across Torbay.

We continue to hold the ambition as a Council to support the transport network in Torbay to become carbon neutral.

Zero Emission Regional Areas Scheme 2021 to 2022
Summary of the application submission made in 2021.