Passenger Voice August 2016: Bus Services Bill – involving passengers
29 July 2016
The Bus Services Bill has started its progress through Parliament and we’re making sure passengers’ voice is heard.
The Bus Services Bill has just completed the committee stage when peers consider the wording of the legislation line by line. The Bill will return to the Lords for the next stage – known as report stage – after the summer recess before ultimately proceeding to the House of Commons.
We have welcomed the Government’s ambitions for the Bill, particularly improving bus passenger services and increasing the number of people who travel by bus. The Bill itself will enable bus service providers and local transport authorities to enter into a wider range of agreements, so increasing the ‘toolbox’ available to them.
One particular issue that peers raised a few times has been the importance of passenger involvement and engagement in the decision-making process for different plans and schemes. Lords Kennedy, Whitty, Berkeley and Baroness Randerson have all been raising this issue in different ways.
Proposals included a requirement from the local authority responsible to set out how passengers should be involved and specifying which body should review complaints.
The Minister, Lord Ahmad, agreed that the principle of involving passengers in various ways is important. Whilst the amendments were withdrawn, the Minister promised to develop proposals for further discussion. This is most welcome. Involving passengers in designing, monitoring and feeding back their experience should be a good thing; information helps make a better passenger experience.