Transport Focus guidance on Bus Service Improvement Plans

07 June 2021

Transport Focus has produced a series of guides and toolkits to support Local Transport Authorities (LTAs) in developing their Bus Service Improvement Plans (BSIPs).

The first (see download list below) is a best practice toolkit on passenger representation on Bus Service Improvement Plans. This explains how to:

  • decide who LTAs need to hear from
  • make full use of the information LTAs already have available
  • consider commissioning passenger research, such as focus groups, to quickly plug the gaps in LTA data
  • engage directly with passengers, community groups and local elected representatives
  • think carefully about who is best placed to clearly and powerfully represent the passenger interest on boards or committees.

Unless they go down the franchising route, LTAs will have to consult on an Enhanced Partnership. Therefore establishing a sound foundation at this stage will benefit the LTA later.

The next guide focuses on things to consider when setting targets for journey times, reliability improvements, customer satisfaction. It also looks at monitoring and reporting on performance against them.

Our third guidance document explains the purpose of a passenger charter, what should be included, how to promote it and how to use it to improve local bus services. It recommends:

  • the main body of the charter should explain what every passenger can expect every time they travel and focus on the things that matter most to them
  • avoiding qualifying standards with phrases such as ‘wherever possible’
  • encouraging passengers to complain if their expectations are not met.

You can also watch back the briefing sessions that we’ve held so far.

We remain keen to talk to LTAs about how Transport Focus can support developing plans. Please contact Mike Bartram (bus policy advisor) at

Passenger representation on Bus Service Improvement Plans
Setting targets for Bus Service Improvement Plans
Passenger charters for Bus Service Improvement Plans
Bus Service Improvement Plans: what passengers want
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