The bus

Because of their flexibility, buses are the backbone of urban public transport networks.

Different kinds of bus services can also meet different needs. Regular bus services can be complemented by high quality Bus Rapid Transport services. With their own high spec vehicles and dedicated infrastructure, they can carry large numbers on core routes in a way which can attract car commuters onto the bus. Whilst at the other end of the spectrum, demand responsive buses can serve less densely populated areas.

The modern bus is also fully accessible to wheelchair users and can be low or zero emission.

Despite this, buses outside London have been in year-on-year decline.

We want to address this through:

  • getting rid of wasteful competition and excess profits through allowing transport authorities to provide bus services through franchising networks of integrated services (as they do in London) – or by providing bus services themselves
  • implementing more bus priority schemes to enable buses to speed past the jams
  • simple, integrated and affordable ticketing to make the bus more competitive with cars and taxis
  • a long term investment plan to transition the bus fleet to zero emission vehicles
  • more measures to restrain car traffic

Find out more about the potential of the urban bus here.

Bus in Leeds

Trams and trains

Light rail and modern trams can speed large numbers of people right into the heart of urban centres in a way that no other form of transport can match. Green, clean, comfortable, fast and accessible – it’s no wonder that they have a strong track record of getting people out of cars. They can also be at the heart of wider transformations of streetscapes and our town and city centres in ways which reflects and enhances the identify and reputation of the places they serve.

We want to see more places benefit from trams and light rail systems – through further extensions to existing networks and by bringing the tram back to more city streets.

Heavy rail services can complement light rail services by providing rapid mass access to city centres as well as the wider connectivity that city regions need. For this to happen, our rail networks need increased capacity on existing and new services into city centres. We also need more cross-city centre rail links. Our vision is of rail networks which are simple and easy to use but also part of something bigger – integrated with wider public transport networks and intrinsic to broader housing and economic development plans. New and existing stations which feel, and are, safe and welcoming. Stations which are assets not eyesores – which provide attractive gateways to city region towns and take the best of the railways heritage and what modern design can achieve to act as wider hubs for local community, business and housing.

There is also the potential for more tram-trains (vehicles which can run both on street and share tracks with regular heavy rail trains).

Tram, bus and train in Manchester