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Scheme will cut bus service congestion and simplify routes

Published on Tuesday, December 13, 2022

2 minute read

Bus in a bus lane

BUS companies will be working together with Leicester City Council to improve journey times and cut congestion by getting rid of duplicate services and co-ordinating timetables on several routes across the city.

As part of the council-led scheme, new partnership agreements have been approved by the council to better integrate bus services operating on similar routes.

The move will reduce the likelihood of buses arriving at the same time, causing unnecessary congestion and slowing down journey times. It will also give customers simplified and improved timetables across the day.

The new agreements involving First, Arriva and Centrebus will be brought in on a two-year trial basis, from April 2023 until March 2025.

The move is the latest stage of improving and integrating bus routes, services and ticketing options across the city since the launch of the city council-led Leicester Bus Partnership in spring 2022.

Multi-operator tickets already mean that passengers can use one ticket to travel with any of the main bus providers in the city.

The services involved in the trial scheme include:

Firstbus services 22, 38 and 38A, Centrebus services 22A,22B, and 54A and Arriva service 53.

Arriva and Firstbus have already removed duplication on routes serving Aikman Avenue and Saffron Lane areas, while Firstbus, Arriva and Kinch Bus have done the same on services covering the Melton Road area

Leicester deputy city mayor for transportation, clean air and climate emergency, Cllr Adam Clarke, said: “The Leicester Bus Partnership means that the city council and local bus operators are working jointly on investment and innovation of the city’s public transport system.

“As part of that we’ve focused on where services are duplicating each other, causing congestion and confusing travellers.

“Evidence shows that reliability and journey speed is harmed by buses delaying themselves – basically too many buses trying to serve the same routes at the same time.

“Working with the companies to reduce duplication, this trial scheme means removing up to 10 diesel buses, speeding up journey times, lowering pollution and improving timetables across the day.”

The Leicester Bus Partnership has seen the city council and local bus operators working jointly on investment and innovation of the city’s public transport system.

It has already seen a fleet of fully electric buses replacing the older diesel fleet at the city’s three Park and Ride sites, the Hospital Hopper service connecting the city’s three biggest hospitals and the Orbital route circling the whole of Leicester.

A further 93 electric bus will be introduced across 17 Firstbus and Arriva services from March 2023, together with the new city centre free Hop! Service.

There are plans to introduce a network of 30 frequent, reliable, affordable and easy to use electric bus routes over the next eight years.

Operations Director at First Leicester, Rob Hughes, added: “The trial is expected to deliver improved reliability and punctuality and more consistency with the bus network across the city.

“Our partnership with Leicester City Council is delivering significant improvements to bus travel through investment in new vehicles, bus priority, fare initiatives and all being achieved by working together.

“We are excited and pleased to be part of this journey to improve bus service provision across the network.”

More information is available on the Leicester Bus Partnership website here