Introducing Enroute's Annual Group Strategy 2024-25

Our vision for bus service control

Our 2050 Vision

Vision:

Bus service control

The majority of bus services in Great Britain right now are run for profit, and are as a result a convoluted mess. It's time to take action.

Intro

Introducing the Buses Commissioner for Great Britain

We propose a new Central Government quango, operating underneath the Department for Transport, known as The Buses Commissioner for Great Britain. The agency would be responsible for:

  • Working with Transport Authorities to deliver the appropriate funding to run bus services or franchise out to run bus services.
  • Supporting the appointment or removal of bus operators in Transport Authorities where bus services are not running effectively.

The Buses Commissioner for Great Britain will also be responsible for ensuring neighbouring bus companies and Transport Authorities work together to integrate services, and potentially run services partially into their neighbouring areas.

The Commissioner will be controlled by civil servants with experience in bus operations – not politicians who will be naturally biased to their party and the area in which they represent.

Control of bus services

In urban areas

In urban areas, all bus services should be operated under a franchise agreement with an existing bus company, in an agreement with the Transport Authority.

Alternatively, the Transport Authority can run bus services themselves with extra funding from the Department for Transport and The Buses Commissioner for Great Britain. For example, Nottingham City Transport, funded and owned by Nottingham City Council.

In urban areas

Bus franchising in rural areas may not be so attractive for bus companies to bid for. That’s why Transport Authorities may run bus services themselves. Some TAs in rural areas may serve large areas with varying urban/rural splits. That’s why TAs can choose to allocate specific areas within their operations to be controlled by a franchise.

  • 14th December 2023: Initial publication