Buses from EY Buses and Stagecoach at Hull Paragon Interchange
Bus services at Hull Paragon Interchange

Hull Bus Alliance secures Government approval for ‘enhanced partnership’ to deliver better services

The Hull Bus Alliance has welcomed the Department for Transport’s (DfT) decision to approve its plans for an enhanced partnership to deliver better bus services for the city and for passengers.

In 2019, the UK Government set out how it would launch a revolution in bus services, delivering a better deal for bus users and committing to publishing a national bus strategy.

The published strategy set out the vision and opportunity to deliver better bus services, through ambitious and far-reaching reform of how services are planned and delivered. This included local transport authorities and bus operators being in a statutory enhanced partnership or a franchising arrangement, using existing powers in the Bus Services Act 2017.

The Hull Bus Alliance, made up of Hull City Council along with the main local bus operators, Stagecoach East Midlands and East Yorkshire Buses, preferred an enhanced partnership and has produced an enhanced partnership plan and enhanced partnership scheme. 

The enhanced partnership plan outlines the delivery of the objectives within the bus service improvement plan (BSIP), while the enhanced partnership scheme sets out the precise detail of how the BSIP’s vision and objectives will be achieved on the ground – including information around the local bus market, the current situation with bus services, bus user feedback and preferences and measures to promote buses.

In recent years, bus services in Hull have been impacted by a number of challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic and a shortage of bus drivers.

Stagecoach and East Yorkshire Buses have worked closely with Hull City Council, as part of the Hull Bus Alliance, to address these issues and are excited about delivering enhanced bus services, as part of a joint commitment to public transport in the city.

Councillor Mark Ieronimo, cabinet portfolio holder for transportation, roads and highways at Hull City Council, said: “It is vitally important that we deliver the bus services that the people of Hull deserve.

“Bus operators have faced significant and unprecedented challenges over the past few years, which have affected services.

“Through the new enhanced partnership, the Hull Bus Alliance is looking to the future and working even more closely together to help make bus travel more efficient, reliable and attractive.

“By encouraging more people to choose bus travel, we can reduce congestion on our roads and make travelling around Hull a better experience for everyone.”

Matt Cranwell, managing director of Stagecoach, said: “We are pleased to see that our long-term bus service improvement plan for Hull has been approved by the DfT.

“Our partnership, in the past, has delivered a number of initiatives that have benefited bus users in the city, which has been supported by significant funding from Stagecoach.

“It’s now important that we work closely together to implement further measures that assist buses to move around the city more easily and that will help ensure we provide a punctual and reliable bus service, as well as reduce journey times for bus users.

“It’s vital that buses within the city are supported, as a thriving bus network helps reduce traffic congestion, whilst reducing harmful emissions.”    

Ben Gilligan, managing director of East Yorkshire Buses, added: “We’re welcoming the Government’s approval of the enhanced partnership plan.

“Buses play a critical role in the connectivity and prosperity of the city, allowing people to move around as well as opening up access to jobs, leisure and education.

“This collaborative effort between ourselves, Stagecoach and Hull City Council represents a commitment to overcoming previous challenges and helping create a better network across the city for our passengers.”

Working together, commitments are in place for strengthening public transport within the local area, recent examples include the festive bus schemes, including the additional park & ride services and discounted fare to support Christmas shoppers and the new late Saturday night buses, operating every Saturday until 24 February 2024, to provide a safe and cost-effective travel option for those celebrating over the festive and New Year period.

Government plans are also in place for significant investment in green sustainable transport, further supported as part of new plans developed by the Hull Bus Alliance, aimed at providing a core focus on delivering a long-term commitment to ensuring public transport remains a reliable and integral part of residents’ daily lives.

Hull City Council, working with both operators and East Riding of Yorkshire Council, has also finalised and submitted a joint bid to the Government’s ZEBRA2 (zero emission bus regional areas) scheme to secure funding towards the cost of new, fully accessible electric buses and associated infrastructure, such as charging equipment.

For more information about getting around Hull, visit: www.travelhull.co.uk

Artist Jason sits in a wheelchair in front of a painted colourful mask
Councillor Mike Ross, leader of Hull City Council, inset on a picture of the Guildhall