1 Bus Priority The Way Ahead Resource Pack Edition 2 12/04
2 Bus Priority The Way Ahead Overview Resource Pack - Edition 2 12/04
3 Foreword I am delighted to see the publication of this, the Second Edition of the Bus Priority Resource Pack. Government has consistently highlighted the important role that the bus plays in our towns and cities and we are firmly committed to making the bus a more attractive travel option. We have worked with the bus industry and local authorities through the Bus Partnership Forum to create the conditions for encouraging greater use of buses. Introducing measures that minimise delays and improve the reliability of bus services are a crucial part of achieving this. While many successful measures have been introduced around the country, we fully recognise that planning and implementing a programme of priorities for buses is not a simple task. It is often the practical details that make the difference between the success or failure of a scheme. I therefore welcome this initiative from the Bus Partnership Forum, which provides best practice guidance, and shares the practical experience gained by local authorities, Passenger Transport Executives and bus operators around the country. I look forward to seeing more new and innovative measures, which provide real benefits to passengers, emerging as a result of it. Charlotte Atkins MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Background The road network needs to move people and goods efficiently if we are to ensure the social and economic well being of our communities. Buses have a vital role to play in this as they can make excellent use of limited road space, carrying many more passengers than a private car for a given amount of road space. However, the potential benefit of the bus can be stifled by traffic congestion. Local authorities and bus operators need to work in partnership to make buses a more attractive alternative to the car by releasing them from the congestion delays experienced by other road users. This in turn will improve reliability and help make the bus an attractive choice for more car users as well as providing quicker journeys for both bus and other road users. Providing the right conditions for this to happen is not a simple task. This overview seeks to outline some of the ways in which local authorities can develop a successful bus strategy that will ensure that bus travel becomes a realistic alternative to the private car. What is being done? The Government has consistently made it clear that the bus has a crucial part to play in present and future transport policy. In the short term, buses provide the best means of increasing public transport services. Government, in partnership with local authorities and bus operators, is positively encouraging bus travel through a number of measures, including capital funding through the local transport plan process, concessionary fares schemes, the development of Quality Bus Partnerships, real time information and timetable information systems. Inbound guideway, Manchester Road, Bradford Courtesy of JMP Consultants Ltd
4 Why help buses? The challenge that we face The challenge is, of course, well known and understood. Since 1950, car ownership in the UK has grown from 2 million cars to over 22 million and use of the car has grown commensurately. The capacity of our roads has not increased at anything like this rate and this has led to severe traffic congestion, affecting the ability of buses to deliver reliable services. Who is affected? Transport affects the economic and social well being of everyone. Well over 11 million bus journeys are made every day. Better bus services in our towns and cities contribute towards the regeneration and revitalisation of both the business community and our living areas. An efficient, reliable bus service can be an attractive alternative to those who have access to a car. Furthermore, an efficient bus service ensures social inclusion by providing access to jobs, education, health, social and leisure services to those without access to a car. A wide variety of people use buses but many people, especially older people, children, people with disabilities, women and the less well off, are often dependent upon having a reliable bus service. What do people want? In almost every survey about bus services, reliability is one of the most important issues for bus users. Motorists cite reliable bus services as a pre-requisite for leaving their car at home. Bus priority measures assist buses through traffic, with more consistent journey times helping deliver timetable reliability. Buses cannot take short cuts to get around congestion; they need help to get through it. What will more bus measures deliver? Without priority measures bus services get caught up in general traffic congestion, especially in our towns and cities during peak periods. Experience from schemes around the country shows that bus lanes may reduce bus travel times by up to 7 to 9 minutes along a 10 kilometre congested route and also improve their reliability. Reliability means buses operate in accordance with their timetables on every journey which is important to bus users. Measures to assist buses in one metropolitan city have halved the variation in journey times that operators experienced in that corridor, enabling them to operate their buses more efficiently. By introducing bus priority with other improvements, services can become more attractive to potential passengers. For example, a comprehensive quality corridor initiative in a major conurbation delivered a 75 per cent increase in bus passengers over 5 years, with 20 per cent being new customers. Low floor buses provide access for wheelchair users Courtesy of GMPTE
5 What if we don t do it? With car ownership continuing to grow, traffic congestion will get worse. Large-scale road construction is not a sustainable option and so greater use of public transport, along with more cycling and walking, must provide our main answers. Initiatives to assist buses must be seen to be part of the traffic congestion solution, by providing more people with better and faster travel at the same time as reducing the need to travel by car. Achieving success Which strategy? It is important to recognise that there is a range of strategies available and that there is not an off the shelf solution that will maximise the benefits to buses regardless of location. The most appropriate strategy in any one area will depend upon the prevailing local conditions. In general, the reliability and journey time benefits of bus initiatives tend to follow the maxim the whole is more than the sum of the parts. A range of strategies can be adopted. These can include taking a full network approach where the entire bus network is considered or a whole route strategy where delays along the length of a particular route are addressed. Alternatively, in a corridor strategy, important corridors within an area served by a number of major routes are treated. Delays can also be treated on the basis of hot spots where specific points of delay located around the area are addressed. Who should be involved? It is vital for local authorities and bus operators to work in partnership at all stages of the initiative, from developing the strategy, to promoting completed measures to customers and the general public. To ensure that full commitment is achieved for the implementation, a wider group of stakeholders should be involved in the development of the strategy. Experience has shown that opposition to measures can be minimised if early stakeholder involvement takes place. Stakeholders, besides the local authority and the bus operators, are likely to include the highway authority (if different); neighbouring authorities; the passenger transport executives (PTEs); the police; signal authorities; bus user organisations; residents organisations; cyclist groups; business and trader organisations. Who should be informed? As well as those stakeholders directly affected by the measures, the wider public needs to be informed of the proposals and why they are happening. Remember that, to many, the measures will be unfamiliar and misunderstood, and the benefits unclear. It may be beneficial to encourage local media to run stories on bus schemes as a general issue rather than wait until specific schemes are developed and opposition entrenched.
6 What will be successful? The most successful measures have been those which have been designed to meet the circumstances of a particular route or corridor. It is crucial that these measures are developed as part of an overall road management strategy to improve bus services in the local area. An important part of a strategy is the efficient management and coordination of traffic schemes, maintenance and other roads works. When these measures are complimented by enforcement and bus friendly traffic management, delays to all traffic, including buses, can be significantly minimised. Under new powers local authorities can enforce bus lanes using CCTV cameras in order to maintain the benefits to bus services. Enforcement can also target offences such as abandoned or untaxed vehicles. How do we convince people of the benefits? Early stakeholder involvement and well targeted information about the proposals is vital. Of at least equal importance is the determination of councillors and senior officers to see the measures succeed. It can be daunting to attempt to progress schemes when there is the presumption that there will be opposition to them. There are, however, numerous examples of successful implementation. Many have achieved their aims in full and still more have shown that disbenefits predicted by objectors have not occurred. The resource pack that accompanies this overview tells you how this has been done. Securing the benefits Selecting appropriate measures Bus schemes are often part of a comprehensive treatment of a road corridor with enhanced facilities for all types of travel. The most successful measures tend to feature an iterative design process that continues throughout the planning and implementation phase. In designing the most appropriate measure it is advisable to consider the whole process, for example to: Rising bollards in action on Emmanuel Road, Cambridge establish the form of strategy to be adopted; identify problem areas consistent with that strategy; agree with stakeholders the nature of the problem; discuss possible solutions to specific problems; investigate the preferred solutions and compare benefits; assure benefits are achieved for bus users; monitor the measure before and after it is carried out; and make adjustments to measures if they would improve the benefits. Courtesy of Cambridgeshire County Council
7 Enforcement and maintenance It is essential to maintain the benefits of bus measures and to do this requires a positive approach to enforcement and highway maintenance. Basic design and maintenance procedures include ensuring that bus priority measures are clearly seen and well maintained, and that the effects on buses are considered when highways are maintained. Active enforcement should aim for total compliance; even if it leads to direct costs being incurred with no revenue stream. Specific actions to consider can include: decriminalisation of parking enforcement to give control to local authorities; and camera enforcement or roving wardens/attendants. More information Resource pack The resource pack provides decision makers with advice and guidance on how to make bus initiatives successful. It consists of a series of leaflets which provide evidence of successful implementation, and advice on how to promote and manage the process. This illustrates the benefits achieved through a whole range of experiences countrywide. Web site A web site dedicated to bus measures (www.buspriority.org.uk) contains all the information in the resource pack. It also has a number of links to other web sites which have useful information and will be of use in developing bus initiatives. Presentational CD ROM Attached to this resource pack is a CD ROM that contains a range of presentational information. This information can be used to tailor presentations on bus initiatives to a range of audiences and can be customised to suit each user. Contacts To get a free copy of the resource pack and overview, contact: DfT Free Literature, PO Box 236, WETHERBY, LS23 7NB. Tel: Fax: Please quote the following reference: 04DFT07 The resource pack and overview can also be obtained through the web site: All of the leaflets, along with other information on bus priority, can be accessed and downloaded, free of charge, from the bus priority web site. To find out more about bus priority measures, contact: Department for Transport, Traffic Management Division, 3/19 Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DR. Tel: Fax:
8 Bus Priority The Way Ahead Contents 1 News 6 Case studies Guide to case studies 2 Strategic options With-flow bus lanes Contra-flow bus lanes 3 Implementation & delivery Whole route approach, St Albans Road Green Route, Watford Bus gates and bus only links Rising bollards 4 5 Maintaining the benefits Route management Traffic management Special initiatives Edinburgh Greenways London Bus Initiative (LBI) West Midlands Bus Showcase Leeds City Centre Oxford, historic city Newport, smaller town West Bromwich Town Centre Guided busways Pre signals and bus advance areas Selective Vehicle Detection (SVD) MOVA Bus SCOOT Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) Mixed priority street Bus friendly traffic calming High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes A690 Durham Road Superoute/ no-car lanes Bus park and ride Complementary measures 1 - The bus stop environment 2 - Other measures
9 Performance indicators & monitoring Web site Frequently asked questions (FAQs) Signs & regulations Bibliography Glossary Contacts Audio visual materials How to use the resource pack This is the second edition of the resource pack, which provides practical information and guidance on successful bus priority. A useful summary is provided in the overview document at the front of the resource pack. The resource pack comprises a series of leaflets which are updated periodically. The resource pack begins with copies of Bus Priority News which can be found in section 1. Sections 2 to 4 of the resource pack provide advice and guidance on the planning, implementation and maintenance of bus priority schemes. Section 5 follows with a series of special initiative case studies. These case studies provide details of best practice, high profile, flagship bus priority initiatives. A series of successful case studies by type of bus priority measure can be found in section 6. Groups of measures are colour-coded and a guide to the case studies is provided at the front of section 6. The resource pack is accompanied by a web site found at All resource pack leaflets are available for download from the website. Helpful links to other web sites of interest will also be provided. A copy of the home page and site map is provided in section 8. A CD ROM (version 2.1) accompanying the resource pack contains all the leaflets in permanent document format. The CD ROM also contains a PowerPoint presentation that can be used by scheme promoters. These materials can be tailored to suit bus initiative presentations for different audiences. Any subsequent releases of the CD ROM and leaflets will be announced in forthcoming issues of Bus Priority News and on the website. Published by the Department of Transport Crown Copyright Printed in the UK December 2004 on paper containing 75 per cent post consumer waste and 25 per cent ECF pulp. Product code: 04DFT07 December 2004.
10 Bus Priority News 1 12/04
11 1 Government Policy on Increasing Bus Patronage Bus is the main mode of public transport in the United Kingdom and, in many areas, the only alternative for local journeys. The bus is a flexible mode of transport, economical in its use of road space and able to carry passengers in large numbers on main urban transport corridors, with the ability to reach outlying suburban and rural areas. The Minister of State for Transport, Mr. John Spellar, has made clear his commitment to improving bus service reliability: "Public transport has an important role to play in the provision of reliable travel in congested conditions. We have encouraged provision of priority to buses wherever this can be achieved safely and taking into account the needs and priorities of other modes. The Department has published advice on the introduction of bus priority measures. As part of updating this advice, I welcome the partnership of bus operators and the various local authority organisations in the Making Buses Run Faster Task Force. They are working together to break down barriers that hold back better bus services." Government policy accords a significant role to buses in meeting its transport objectives and aims to reverse the long term decline in patronage by greater investment through Local Transport Plans. Quality partnerships and contracts are also central to its policy of improving service levels and efficiency. The ability of bus operators in urban areas to run services reliably and efficiently is NOVEMBER 2002 compromised by traffic congestion; bus priority measures should be an essential part of local authority IN THIS ISSUE: bus strategies. Government Giving greater priority to buses over other road vehicles can greatly assist in minimising delays and Policy on improving reliability. Techniques are available to give buses higher priority, but the rate at which Increasing Bus measures are being implemented is far from satisfactory in many areas. The Department for Transport Patronage wishes to increase awareness of available techniques and their benefits to bus operations. Research Project Scope To meet its objective, the project involves a wideranging review of bus priority measures, focusing on evidence of benefits realised from the implementation of selected schemes. The main project activities are as follows: consultation with local authorities to identify suitable schemes development of monitoring guidelines for surveys before and after monitoring surveys consideration of use of bus lanes by other road users surveys of compliance and effectiveness of enforcement appraisal of most effective bus priority techniques dissemination of best practice guidance The project is intended to provide advice and guidance to local authorities to enable them to plan, evaluate, design and implement more effective bus priority measures, either in isolation or as part of wider route initiatives. Research Objectives JMP Consultants Ltd., with TRL Limited, is commissioned by the Department for Transport to undertake the research project: Monitoring of Bus Priority Schemes (UG150), with the objective: to develop a comprehensive approach to effective planning, evaluation, design and monitoring of bus priority schemes, with the overall aim of providing best practice guidance in identifying schemes that contribute to improving the operation and efficiency of bus services. Objectives Preliminary Consultations Regional Forums Monitoring Messages Forward Direction Forthcoming Activities Designated Lane Investigations Outputs Your Experience Contacts
12 Preliminary Consultations Consultation provides the link with local authority practice and experience. An extensive consultation exercise was carried out in the early stages of the project to identify programmed bus priority schemes. Several local authorities are assisting the project, either with monitoring surveys or providing data where they have monitored earlier schemes. A first round of consultation took place in early Spring 2001 when a total 208 letters were sent out to all transport authorities in England (including the six Passenger Transport Authorities and member authorities plus all 33 London Boroughs), Wales and Scotland. These initial letters introduced the project, its objectives and outputs and sought a nominated contact for each organisation. The consultation response was positive (61% overall response rate). A second round of consultation went ahead in June 2001 when letters were issued to all 127 nominated contacts. The main aim was to identify bus priority schemes programmed for implementation suitable for before and after monitoring surveys. A number of potential schemes were identified and these responses were followed up with direct contact for more detailed discussions. Monitoring Monitoring surveys have been carried out for the following bus priority schemes: Arthur Road Corridor Bus SCOOT scheme, Windsor: Before surveys carried out in November 2001 with after surveys planned for Spring 2003 Christchurch Road Bus Lane scheme, Bournemouth: Before surveys carried out in March 2002 with after surveys planned for Spring 2003 Swindon Motorcycles in Bus Lanes scheme: Before surveys carried out in May 2002 with after surveys also planned for Spring 2003 Other bus priority schemes programmed for implementation in this 2002/03 financial year are being pursued. In addition, the project will be coordinated with ongoing local authority monitoring programmes. Monitoring data received includes: East Leeds Quality Bus Initiative: Pre Scheme Monitoring Report East Leeds Bus Priority: Pre-scheme Monitoring Report Wakefield Road A61 Corridor Study: Pre Scheme Monitoring South Bradford Quality Bus Initiative: Manchester Road Guided Bus Report of Before Surveys Other monitoring survey data expected includes: Regional Forums Regional Forums give local authorities and bus operators an opportunity to contribute to the project. Forums facilitate wider debate on the strategic bus priority issues most relevant across a region and provide valuable feedback on where more needs to be done. The West Midlands forum highlighted the success of Showcase routes in attracting passengers. The South/West Yorkshire forum showed the importance of local authority and operator partnerships in the delivery of effective bus services. Further regional forums are programmed in the north east and north west this winter. London Bus Initiative (LBI1): Before (2000) and interim (2001) monitoring data Transport for London Motorcycles in Bus Lanes Pilots, 2002 CENTRO Showcase Routes: Before and after monitoring data Guided Bus on Manchester Road, Bradford: After monitoring data, 2000 The project is keen to incorporate lessons learned from other bus priority monitoring programmes and further data would be most welcome. The project has developed detailed monitoring guidelines which identify consistent methods for monitoring different types of bus priority. The guidelines include both core and additional monitoring variables. These guidelines can be obtained from the contact details given below.
13 Messages Quality and reliability of bus services are the keys to higher patronage, as demonstrated in London and other areas with effective bus strategies. In other areas the pace of change has been disappointing and patronage continues to fall. The initial phases of the project have shown some ways in which bus priority measures can be more effectively planned and realised. Benefits of best technical solutions are not widely appreciated Spending on bus priority measures is not utilising available funds Increased monitoring is required to demonstrate the benefits of bus priority measures Sensitive scheme design can overcome much of the opposition that often forces proposals to be abandoned Partnerships between local authorities and operators enable the full benefits of priority measures to be realised Quality initiatives for whole routes can achieve a step-change in the level of service Without effective enforcement of bus priority regulations much of the benefits are easily lost Workable criteria are required to enable the use of bus lanes by other traffic to be assessed Guidance on the planning, design and implementation of effective bus priority is limited Forthcoming Activities The Autumn 2002 programme will see new initiatives to extend the scope of the project, especially through contacts with those directly involved in bus operations. The main activities will be as follows: Completion of before and after monitoring survey programme New survey programme to quantify existing bus problems and benefits of best practice schemes Development of performance criteria and guidelines against which to assess effectiveness of schemes Consultation with selected local authorities to identify best practice case studies Discussions with bus operators on how to turn bus priority benefits into real improvements in service reliability Surveys of levels of compliance for existing measures to identify potential benefits of greater enforcement Review of criteria for permitted use of bus lanes by a wider range of road users, including motor cycles and high occupancy vehicles Production of Traffic Advisory Leaflets for best practice case studies Assessment of contribution of bus priority measures to the success of quality initiatives Forward Direction The project has involved extensive discussions and consultations from which many examples of good practice have emerged. However, the rate of implementation of bus priority measures has resulted in limited hard evidence as to the benefits generated by effectiveschemes. In reviewing the outcomes of the project against its objectives, it is evident that a wider and more inclusive approach is required to capture the aspects of best practice that can encourage a faster take-up of innovative schemes. The focus of the project will now be more towards the identification and dissemination of best practice.
14 Designated Lane Investigations Bus lanes typically make allowance for use by pedal cycles and licensed taxis, but such distinctions are now starting to break down as local authorities question their road space allocation priorities. Motor cycles are permitted to use bus lanes by a limited number of local authorities; Newcastle City Council has gone as far as introducing several no-car lanes. The signs used for the non-standard use of bus lanes would require type approval from the Department for Transport. The DfT is monitoring the use of bus lanes by motorcycles with a view to clarifying the advice it gives to local authorities. Your Experience Partnership is essential to the success of the project and we are keen to collate best practice bus priority case studies from across the country. We would like to hear from local authorities involved in the design and implementation of bus priority schemes. We are interested to hear about your experiences relating to the introduction of particularly effective measures, the ways in which such measures overcame problems typical of bus operations and the general lessons learnt. Contact details are provided below for your information. Swindon Borough Council intends to allow motorcyclists to use bus lanes in 2002 and Transport for London (TfL) has recently given similar permission this year on an experimental basis. The two authorities are working closely with the DfT to monitor safety and operations before and after implementation. The project has included the development of monitoring guidelines for motorcycles in bus lanes schemes. The Department for Transport would welcome approaches from other local authorities who are considering allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes in order to assess the impacts of doing so more widely. Discussions are ongoing with the Freight Transport Association (FTA) to investigate the wider use of bus lanes by goods vehicles. It is anticipated that revised guidelines will be developed to assess such schemes, preferably as part of Freight Quality Partnerships. Outputs The data and information collated for the study will enable fully comprehensive best practice guidance on all aspects of bus priority to be developed and disseminated. Project outputs will take various forms including: A fact sheet which sets out main issues relating to bus priority Performance data on effectiveness of bus priority measures Traffic Advisory Leaflets on different types and aspects of bus priority, including monitoring Case studies and illustrations of best practice and innovative solutions with full technical details and performance indicators Preliminary guidance on criteria for priority lane usage Technical details of effective measures A Website for the purpose of information dissemination online Contacts JMP Consultants Ltd Jane Atkinson - Project Co-ordinator Tel: Fax: post: 172 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7NA. TRL Limited Dr. Iain York - Project Lead Investigator Tel: Fax: Post: Old Wokingham Road, Crawthorne, Berkshire RG45 6AU. For information about the organisations involved in this project please try the following: Department for Transport JMP Consultants Ltd or TRL Limited
15 2 Government Committed To Task Forces The Government's policy is that the effective movement of people and goods is essential if the UK is to maintain the social and economic wellbeing of its communities. Whilst the private car is important in meeting many of the transport needs of the public, the growth of car ownership has made it unsustainable in providing an effective solution for a large section of the population. This view is being reinforced by much of the specialist advice given by bodies such as the Commission for Integrated Transport and Association of Local Government The Government has recently set up a number of Task Forces to look into aspects of public transport under the broad umbrella of the Bus Forum. Representatives from most of the stakeholders have been included in these groups, and there has been wide consultation. Government is also promoting a number of initiatives to assist local authorities in developing bus services across the country. Clearly both travel demands and measures will vary from area to area, and from authority to authority. To enhance the bus services for existing users and to attract new users, Government is encouraging the creation of effective partnerships in which all the major stakeholders work more closely together. In July 2002 the Bus Partnership Forum brought together senior representatives from the bus industry and local government and other stakeholder groups. A programme of work is now being carried out under auspices of the Forum to address problems that may hinder bus usage and identify practical solutions, including: understanding customer needs; making buses run faster and more reliably; new partnership approaches; route and timetable stability; performance monitoring; information, marketing and competitively priced integrated ticketing; social inclusion and innovative transport; and schools transport. Overview Booklet A concise, user-friendly summary document on the benefits of bus priority is being developed and is currently close to completion. The aim of the Overview booklet is to help make the case for bus priority and provide planners and decision-makers with key information concerning bus priority. The Overview booklet forms the front-end of a leaflet-based Resource Pack for bus priority. This Overview booklet will be launched in advance of the emerging Resource Pack, which is currently under development. Further information on this Resource Pack is provided on the back page of this newsletter. The main themes of the Overview booklet are: how effective traffic management underpins bus priority as a whole and is beneficial to all road users; partnership working with, for example, local bus operators, is key to the delivery of bus priority; how bus priority helps services to be more attractive; successful strategies that have been adopted and the good practice lessons to be learned; selecting appropriate and effective bus priority measures; and, the importance of consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, including local residents and businesses, and the methods that can be used to increase the acceptance of bus priority schemes. The Overview booklet will be available both electronically and in hard copy format. MARCH 2003 IN THIS ISSUE: Government Committed to Task ForceS Overview Booklet Local Authority Consultation Findings Bus Operator Consultation Forthcoming Activities Regional Forums Recent Forums Resource Pack Web site Contacts
16 2 Local Authority Consultation Findings Local authorities were consulted in Autumn 2002 on their experience of implementing bus priority. The results showed that authorities are actively developing and implementing a range of different types of measures, and many more are planned for the next few years. To learn from this experience, schemes have been identified which have been monitored before and after implementation. This will allow appraisal of the extent that these bus priority schemes which have given notable benefits to buses and passengers. It is these schemes that will be used as case studies in leaflets for wider publication contained in the Resource Pack. Some local authorities have not been quite as successful at implementing bus priority. The results of the consultation highlighted some of the obstacles that local authorities face in progressing schemes. A more detailed breakdown of the results will be available in due course on a Bus Priority web site.
17 Bus Operator Consultation There was significant interest from bus operators, who are keen to see more measures introduced to assist buses. Some 95% of schemes that have been implemented were identified as being highly effective. Of these measures, guided bus schemes are considered the most effective, followed by contra-flow bus lanes and conventional bus lanes. Bus operators are keen to actively advise local authorities on where bus priority should be implemented. As a result, the large majority of bus operators already work closely with local authorities on the development of bus initiatives. This involvement with local authorities often helps make bus services run faster, more reliably and more efficient. From the consultation, bus operators have identified a number of measures that have been introduced for further research. It is likely that some of these measures will be used in best practise case studies, to assist in the progress of effective bus initiatives across the country. Regional Forums Regional forums have provided local authorities and bus operators an opportunity to contribute their views on best practice and the way ahead. These forums allow wider debate on the strategic bus priority issues across each geographic area and give valuable feedback on where more needs to be done. There have now been a number of forums held and by the end of last year forums had been organised in the North, North East and North West of England. Common themes often arose out of these forums, and some of the main points were: The North East forum, held in Newcastle: the importance of effective partnerships with operators, neighboring authorities and the police to deliver whole route improvements; enforcement is crucial to the success of measures. The North-West forum, held in Manchester: the success of an integrated area approach to schemes including bus priority, safety, cycling and pedestrian measures; the need for greater publicity and marketing of the benefits of bus priority. The Northern forum, held in Sheffield: sufficient resources are required to actively progress the planning and development of bus priority schemes; signal priority as part of a bus priority strategy is important.
18 Recent Forums Recent forums have been held in south east, south west and eastern regions. These forums have been well attended and produced interesting ideas and viewpoints. The main points from these forums will be presented in the next newsletter. Web Site A web site dedicated to bus priority will be built which will contain all the information in the resource pack. It will also provide a number of useful links to other web sites and will be of use in developing bus priority. Resource Pack A Resource Pack of leaflets will be produced to provide decision-makers with advice and guidance on how to make bus priority successful. It will include a series of topics, to provide evidence of successful implementation and advise on how to promote and manage the process. Case studies will also illustrate the benefits achieved through a whole range of experiences countrywide. The Resource Pack will include a CD that contains a range of presentational material. The information could be used to tailor presentations on bus priority to a range of audiences and could be customised to suit each user. Contacts JMP Consultants Ltd Jane Atkinson - Project Co-ordinator Tel: Fax: post: 172 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7NA. For information about the organisations involved in this project please try the following: Department for Transport JMP Consultants Ltd or TRL Limited
19 Bus Priority Web Site goes live The web site, coincides with the resource pack. Purpose The aim of the site is to provide the user with an interactive version of the resource pack, up-todate news (along with a back catalogue of previous news articles) and a facility to post and read information via a bulletin board. Features and contents The web site is largely based on the resource pack; therefore all the currently available leaflets are on the web site. In addition to these, a number of features have been added to make the site fully comprehensive, interactive and userfriendly. Home Contact us This feature generates an directly to the bus priority team at the DfT. Enquiries, comments and thoughts will be dealt with accordingly. Links Other sites of interest are listed under this heading. Clicking on the desired link takes the user directly to the organisation s homepage. Leaflets PDF files of all the resource pack contents will be downloadable from the web site. It will also be possible to print out a complete resource pack from the site. 3 The homepage, an essential feature of every web site, is the central point from which the pages of the site can be navigated. The home hyperlink is found at the bottom of each page allowing the user to return to the home or contents page directly. News This feature allows the user to view the most current edition of the bus priority news letter; it also enables the user to access past editions. Site map The site map displays an interactive contents list. All leaflets currently available are accessible from this at a-glance contents list. Bus Priority hits the public realm! The Bus Priority Resource Pack was launched at the Bus and Coach Conference at the NEC in Birmingham in September Tony McNulty, Transport Minister, announced the Bus Priority Initiative: Bus users want services to be punctual, reliable and not slowed down by other traffic. The Bus Priority Resource Pack I am launching today will help local authorities implement traffic management schemes which give buses priority. What s to come? The bulletin board will allow users to post messages on a public notice board. Any comments relating to bus priority will be welcomed and responses encouraged. This feature promotes interaction between local authorities, bus operators and other interested stakeholders. The resource pack was introduced as a tool to overcome difficulties identified from past research and to assist in identifying the best techniques from the experience of successful schemes. JMP Consulting representatives attended the conference and were on hand at the Confederation of Passenger Transport stand to answer queries about the pack from delegates. STOP PRESS More leaflets added to Bus Priority web site!! A number of further special initiatives and case studies have now been up loaded onto the web site. To view the leaflets simply click on Special initiatives or Case studies, this can be done directly from the home/ contents page or via the site map, and then select the leaflet of interest.
20 What s in the resource pack? The bus priority resource pack provides decision makers with comprehensive and up-to-date advice and guidance on how to make bus priority initiatives successful. The resource pack s user-friendly format sets out various topics in a logical sequence, beginning with the identification of an appropriate measure through to monitoring the performance of a scheme. Strategic approaches are considered in the opening section of the resource pack. A number of approaches to designing and implementing bus priority are identified and explored. The implementation and delivery of such measures places emphasis on the importance of consultation with stakeholders, as well as dialogue between local authorities and bus operators. A number of difficulties commonly associated with implementing bus priority are identified along with possible ways of tackling these problems. The resource pack also provides guidance on maintaining the benefits of bus priority through successful route and traffic management. A number of case studies and special initiatives are presented in the resource pack. These provide practical information drawn from experience of bus priority implementation. Case studies are categorised by measure type and reflect examples nationwide. In each case, location, local conditions and costs and benefits of the scheme are detailed. Sources of guidance and other examples are also provided at the end of each study. Special initiatives take on a similar format although, as their name indicates, they are either examples of a unique or rare scheme, or an area where a combination of bus priority measures have been implemented in a unique way. The role of performance indicators and monitoring in assessing the success of a scheme is featured in the pack. Advice on an appropriate form of monitoring for each form of bus priority is provided in this section. Frequently asked questions touches on some key areas that often arise from residents, businesses and industry. Towards the back of the resource pack, a comprehensive reference section encompasses a bibliography, glossary of terms and contacts list. These provide up-to-date and user-friendly sources of information covering all aspects of bus priority. A CD ROM containing a PDF version of the resource pack comes with the pack. The CD allows the user to navigate the resource pack via an interactive contents page. This highly user-friendly and innovative media enables a full version of the pack to be printed on request. To obtain a copy of the resource pack, visit or contact DfT Free Literature on: , quoting reference: 03DFT005. What s happening next? The second edition of the resource pack will be released in December Edition two will contain further case studies of examples of good practice in bus priority schemes, special initiatives and current information on signs and regulations. Contacts JMP Consulting Ltd, Jane Atkinson - Project Co-ordinator Tel: Fax: Post: 172 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7NA. For information about the organisations involved in this project please try the following: Department for Transport JMP Consulting or TRL Limited Bus Priority on the road April 2003 A bus priority team consisting of DfT and JMP Consulting staff attended the Traffex Exhibition in April The most successful Traffex ever was held at the NEC in Birmingham. The bus priority display on the popular DfT stand created considerable interest, with plenty of delegates picking up a copy of the resource pack overview. July 2003 Alan Beswick and Jane Atkinson of JMP Consulting presented a conference paper at the 1 st Annual Transport Practitioners conference at Nottingham University outlining the findings of their extensive bus priority research. February 2004 A paper on the resource pack was presented by Alan Beswick at Aston University. December 2004 The 1 st Annual UK Bus Priority Conference, Better Travel by Bus Best Practice in Bus Priority, will be held in Manchester on 9 th December Edition two of the resource pack will be launched at the conference. For further details on the conference contact: