McLoughlin: Bus networks could get boost from across Whitehall


Secretary of state for transport, Patrick McLoughlin, has pledged to work with other government departments to integrate bus service provision.

Mr McLoughlin gave health and education departments as an example of where the Department for Transport could build bridges, working to improve services for school pupils and patients.

Speaking at a UK bus summit last week, he said: 'We can’t promise a service level like that of a London bus route but we can do something about better information.'

The news comes as the bus sector raised concerns over its exclusion from the Government’s Infrastructure Act.

Investing in local bus infrastructure ‘would typically generate £3.32 of economic benefits for each £1 of cost incurred’, according to Claire Haigh, chief executive of industry coalition Greener Journeys.

Campaign for Better Transport CEO, Stephen Joseph contrasted the bus sector's omission with the Highways Agency’s commitment to ‘cycle-proof’ at least 200 of the most dangerous stretches of road in England.

Also attending the summit, Northern Ireland's regional development minister, Danny Kennedy MLA, highlighted plans for 2000 new park-and-ride spaces by end-2015, and for bikes to travel on buses at new cyclist-friendly interchanges in Belfast and Londonderry.

While, TfL managing director of surface transport, Leon Daniels predicted that Uber-style schemes, with apps linking paid drivers and passengers, will redefine the whole world of taxis, private hire, dial-a-ride and public transport.

'The technology will overtake us, and current regulations, if we’re not prepared,' he said.


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