Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced: new low-fare, high-frequency “Superbus” networks; Britain’s first all-electric bus town; better information for passengers; and contactless payment on every city bus.

A major package of new measures, worth £220 million in the first year, will see many cuts to services reversed, he said, and will create “express lanes” for buses in the West Midlands and elsewhere.

The Government will commit to the UK’s first-ever long-term bus strategy and funding settlement, including support for local authorities who want to create London-style franchised services in their areas.

The area where such proposals are most advanced, is Greater Manchester, which is shortly due to consult on adopting a proposed franchised model in 2020. The package will also support other areas which would prefer to pursue other forms of co-ordination, such as voluntary or statutory partnerships with operators.

Superbus networks, with the first to be introduced across the county of Cornwall, will have low fares and there will be more bus priority measures to speed up journeys and make them more reliable, Mr Shapps explained.

Buses are disproportionately used by people on lower incomes and Cornwall has been chosen as a county with significant deprivation and social exclusion.

Other Superbus networks will be rolled out next year, with the focus on places that suffer similar problems and where better public transport could significantly improve people’s lives, and will consider improvements in frequency and bus prioritisation.

The location of Britain’s first all-electric bus town is still being discussed with local authorities and operators and will be announced later.

Last reviewed 3 October 2019