The alchemy of good bus service provision or the Norfolk effect?

09 April 2013

I recently had a good look at bus services in Norwich guided by Tracy Jessop, the very capable and energetic senior council officer who looks after buses. The wide variance in bus service quality as measured in our recent Bus Passenger Survey made me think about what makes a bus services good.

You can list some factors: restricted access to a city centre, poor parking, proactive engaged bus company that invests, positive local council, good managing directors who are part of the community, and so on. Stir these ingredients and stand back.  However, the key ingredient is the relationship between the bus companies and the local authority. Without a good dialogue the recipe can sour.

Norwich, and Norfolk, has a large number of big and small operators – over 40. There seems to be competition on the key corridors into Norwich. Tracy is making things happen that benefit existing passengers and will attract more. All in all felt good – looking forward to surveying Norwich and Norfolk passengers this year so we can benchmark this performance.

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