About this section

These pages provide the draft Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme. See more on the background to this and the council’s response to the National Bus Strategy. 

Introduction

Brighton & Hove City Council (the “council”) is establishing an Enhanced Partnership (EP) under the Transport Act 2000 (As amended by the Bus Services Act 2017). Part 1 of this document sets out the Enhanced Partnership Plan (“EP Plan”). Part 2 sets out the Enhanced Partnership Scheme (“EP Scheme”).

This follows the requirement set by the Department for Transport in its National Bus Strategy published in March 2021 and a decision made by Members of the Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee in June 2021.

The EP replaces the voluntary Quality Bus Partnership. The Quality Bus Partnership was in place between the council and Brighton & Hove Bus Company from 1997. It was expanded to include other operators in 2015.

The EP Plan relates to the Brighton & Hove Bus Service Improvement Plan (“BSIP”). The BSIP was first published in October 2021. The BSIP sets out the strategic vision for how the council and bus operators will improve bus services in the city.

The BSIP and EP Plan will be aligned with the Local Transport Plan (LTP) and Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP).

The key objectives of the BSIP are to:

  • increase bus passenger numbers, firstly returning them to levels seen before the COVID-19 pandemic and then growing these
  • reduce bus journey times
  • increase bus passenger satisfaction levels
  • improve bus reliability

The BSIP outlines specific targets for each of these areas. Progress against these will be monitored every 6 months. The targets and wider BSIP will then be reviewed annually.

A number of actions are outlined in the BSIP to achieve these outcomes and targets. These include investment in infrastructure and vehicles, as well as aspirations to simplify and reduce fares.

The EP is the formal, legally binding, agreement between the council and Bus Operators to deliver the BSIP. The EP Plan closely reflects the strategic elements of the BSIP. The EP Scheme(s) will then set out the commitments from the council to deliver the objectives and actions included in the BSIP. It is not possible for the council or operators to commit to all of the actions within the BSIP immediately. This is because many will require detailed agreements and consultation which was not possible in advance of the deadline for the EP to be in place. In addition, many are subject to the availability of future funding.

The EP Scheme will therefore be varied as circumstances change and/or a new EP Scheme or Schemes is or are introduced.

EP Approach

The following sets out the EP approach for each of the BSIP outcomes.

1. BSIP Outcome: More frequent services

BSIP Action and EP approach

1.1

Brighton & Hove Buses and Stagecoach to commit to maintaining the equivalent of current daytime and evening service levels on commercial routes, whilst allowing scope for adjustments in response to changing customer requirements and unforeseen circumstances.

EP Approach: Not included in the EP.

1.2

The council will work with operators and neighbouring authorities to explore how services to areas to the north of Brighton & Hove can be enhanced.

This includes an aspiration for:

  • Sunday service on route 17 to Horsham
  • minimum hourly services and a Sunday service on links between Crawley and Mid Sussex via routes 270, 271, 272, 273 (combining to provide a more frequent service to Brighton)

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme once funding situation known.

1.3

Brighton & Hove Buses will review current 23 and 14C services in order to provide more frequent direct services from the east of the city to Falmer and the universities.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme once funding situation known.

1.4

Brighton & Hove Buses to develop alternative means of timetable communication were Bus Times magazine not to re-enter publication. All other operators to contribute to this.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme.

1.5

The council will maintain current supported bus routes until at least September 2022.

EP Approach: Not included in the EP.

1.6

The council will review the need for future changes to supported bus services as a result of permanent changes in demand on these and other routes.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme once funding situation known.

1.7

The council will explore opportunities to increase frequencies on supported bus services.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme once funding situation known.

1.8

To review school services funded by the council to consider stakeholder requests and future demand across the network following the pandemic.

EP Approach: Not included in EP.

2. Bus journeys to be faster and more reliable

BSIP Action and EP approach

2.1

The council will develop schemes in the Bus Network Review as funding becomes available.

2.2

The council to assess feasibility of bus priority on A259 between Brighton Marina and Ovingdean.

2.3

The council to assess feasibility of bus priority on A259 between Brighton Palace Pier and Lower Rock Gardens.

2.4

The council to assess feasibility of bus priority on A23 between Preston Park and St Peter’s Place.

EP Approach for 2.1 to 2.4: EP Scheme includes commitment from the council to undertake further feasibility design work for bus priority schemes identified.

2.5

The council will review whether additional bus detection / bus priority is feasible and will benefit buses as junctions come forward as part of the signal upgrade programme.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme once funding situation known.

2.6

The council will work with operators to review the placement of bus stops.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme once funding situation known.

2.7

Brighton & Hove Buses to investigate limited-stop services from suburban parts of the city in order to speed up services.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme once funding situation known.

2.8

The council will implement red routes on Lewes Road and London Road, including Valley Gardens.

EP Approach: Commitment to undertake further work included in EP scheme.

2.9

The council will continue to support a change in legislation which allows councils in England outside of London to enforce pavement parking.

EP Approach: Not included in EP.

2.10

A member of staff or contractor would be appointed with a dedicated role to manage parking and loading at bus stops and other locations which cause delays to buses.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme once funding situation known.

2.11

The council will seek funding for a Strategic Outline Business Case for BRT scheme on the seafront between East and West Sussex and other major corridors.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme once funding situation known.

3. Bus travel to be cheaper

BSIP Action and EP approach

3.1

Brighton & Hove Buses to extend contactless fare capping period to cover up to one week rather than one day. This will ensure passengers using the bus on a number of days benefit from multi-day discounts.

EP Approach: EP agreements on fares cover all operators rather than a specific operator. This action will be monitored as part of the BSIP reporting process.

3.2

Operators to develop a ‘best fare finder’ online tool / app and ensure contactless payment provides the best price available (not just the best on-bus price).

EP Approach:  To be considered for future EP scheme.

3.3

All operators to make arrangements to allow disadvantaged passengers to purchase season tickets. This will be accompanied by additional marketing so the offer is more widely known.

EP Approach:  To be considered for future EP scheme.

3.4

Operators will deliver a marketing campaign focusing on fares, including how to get the best value ticket and comparing to the cost of driving. This will include on-bus advertising and other areas that target people who do not use buses regularly or at all. The council will explore opportunities to support this through its own channels such as Variable Message Signs (VMS) on major roads.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme.

3.5

The council and operators will continue to promote the BetterPoints Move for Change scheme which provides residents with rewards for travelling by public transport, on foot or by bike.

EP Approach:  To be considered for future EP scheme once funding situation known.

3.6

Operators will work with the council, East Sussex County Council and West Sussex County Council to introduce subsidised period bus passes for young people. These would provide unlimited travel and savings over current offers. Operators to also explore expansion of free travel for young people, previously offered at Christmas, to include other periods of the year. It is the council’s ultimate aim that young people will be able to travel on buses for free throughout the year.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme once funding situation known. It is the council’s ultimate aim that young people will be able to travel on buses for free throughout the year.

3.7

Operators will review the current Discovery ticket to provide a simplified, discounted ticket, available across all routes to and from Brighton & Hove from East and West Sussex, allowing change to different operators within Brighton & Hove. Operators will also explore integration of the Discovery ticket with rail.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme following agreement of details with operators and neighbouring authorities.

4. Reducing over provision

BSIP Action and EP approach

4.1

The council will work with operators to explore whether some services terminating in the city centre could be re-routed to avoid travel along North Street.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme following agreement of details with operators.

5. Buses easier to understand

BSIP Action and EP approach

5.1

The council will maintain a Real Time Public Transport Information (RTPI) network and produce an RTPI strategy.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme following agreement of details with operators.

5.2

Maps to be developed for shelters. This will begin with interchange locations and stops with multiple services.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme once funding situation known.

5.3

A common brand will be investigated to indicate that tickets can be used across different services; however, this will complement rather than replace current branding.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme following agreement of details with operators.

5.4

All operators to introduce a targeted campaign to encourage people to try out buses with a discounted ticket.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme.

5.5

Brighton & Hove Buses to continue to provide daytime staff presence at Brighton Station and in One Stop travel shops in Brighton and Hove. Funding sought to enable night time customer service coverage to respond to enquiries.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme once funding situation known.

5.6

Operators to introduce passenger counting technology to provide more reliable information on how busy buses are and help customers plan.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme once funding situation known.

5.7

The council will work with operators, neighbouring authorities, South Downs National Park, National Trust and Community Rail Partnership to expand on the existing Breeze up to the Downs campaign.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme once funding situation known.

5.8

Operators to work with tourism industry on a marketing campaign so that visitors are aware of buses in advance of and during their visit, including expanding on a trial scheme to offer bus travel with hotel stays.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme.

5.9

Brighton & Hove Buses to work with tourism industry to promote Park & Ride trial to visitors from outside the area.

EP Approach: To be considered in future or amended EP Scheme were Park & Ride to be implemented.

6. Buses to be easier to use

BSIP Action and EP approach

6.1

Council and operators to support development of a national system to allow continuous contactless ticketing and fare capping for journeys across different operators.

EP Approach: Not included in EP.

6.2

Operators to implement ticket machine upgrades to allow faster contactless/smart/mobile read speeds to reduce boarding times.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme once funding situation known.

6.3

Stagecoach tickets to be accepted by Brighton & Hove Buses and supported bus service operators and vice versa.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme.

6.4

The council will explore opportunities for the enhancement of Pool Valley.

EP Approach: Not included in EP.

7. Buses better integrated with other modes

BSIP Action and EP approach

7.1

Bus operators will work with rail partners to develop a consistent and attractive rail-bus offer and market this to rail passengers.

EP Approach:  To be considered for future EP scheme.

7.2

The council and operators will support the development of a national system to allow continuous contactless payment between all bus operators and rail.

EP Approach: Not included in EP.

7.3

The council will work with the bike share operator and bus operators to explore an integrated payment system.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme.

7.4

The council will investigate options for local mobility hubs in neighbourhood locations. These will provide interchange between different forms of sustainable travel, which may include bus, rail, cycle hire and car clubs, depending on the location.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme.

7.5

Trial Park & Ride.

EP Approach: Not included in EP.

8. Buses better integrated with other modes

BSIP Action and EP approach

8.1

The council will continue its rolling programme to provide accessible kerbs and reduce street clutter at bus stops with the ultimate aim of making all stops accessible.

EP Approach: Included in EP scheme.

8.2

The council will continue to extend accessible kerbs at bus stops to accommodate double-door buses.

EP Approach: Included in EP scheme.

8.3

The council will continue to upgrade bus stop waiting environments to provide improved and more attractive facilities, including shelters and seating. This will include working with the council’s shelter contractor and prioritising those with higher numbers of boarding passengers.

EP Approach: Included in EP scheme.

8.4

The council will investigate and install ‘superhub’ bus shelters in key interchange locations such as Churchill Square and Valley Gardens.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme.

9. Provide modern, clean buses

BSIP Action and EP approach

9.1

All operators to convert to a fully zero emissions fleet and procure energy from renewable sources. The council will continue to support operators with funding bids.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme.

9.2

All buses will be Euro VI as a minimum through the ULEZ by 2023 with conversion of remaining Euro V vehicles.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme.

9.3

The council will specify that buses on supported bus routes will operate Euro VI vehicles as a minimum from 2022 and zero emissions no later than 2026.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme.

9.4

All operators to work together to prepare a joint accessibility standard for services in order to ensure the features currently seen on some buses / operators are available on all. This will be a requirement for all services operating in the city through the Enhanced Partnership.

EP Approach: Included in EP scheme.

9.5

Operators will continue to specify audio-visual stop information in the procurement of new vehicles.

EP Approach:. To be considered for future EP scheme.

9.6

The council will make audio-visual information a requirement for future operators of supported bus services.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme.

9.7

Operators will explore the introduction of 5G WiFi as technology allows.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme as funding allows.

9.8

USB chargers to be retrofitted to additional buses.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme as funding allows.

9.9

Operators will investigate options for allowing cycles on additional routes serving the South Downs.

EP Approach: To be considered for future EP scheme.

Competition Test

The Competition Declaration is in Annex C for completeness. However, it should be noted that it is a separate, standalone document that does not need to go through the EP variation procedures to change it.

Part 1 - EP Plan

The Brighton & Hove City Council Enhanced Partnership Plan for buses is made in accordance with Section 138G (1) of the Transport Act 2000 by Brighton & Hove City Council.

1. Introduction

1.1

The content of the EP Plan is based on that required by Section 138A of the Transport Act 2000. The BSIP provides further detail and background on bus services in Brighton & Hove.

2. Area covered

2.1

The Brighton & Hove BSIP covers the whole area within the Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) boundary.

A map of the area covered is provided in Figure 1.1.

Figure 1.1: Map showing Brighton & Hove City Council area covered by the EP Plan

Contains Ordnance Survey and National Statistics data © Crown copyright and database right.

3. Intended effect of the EP Scheme(s) on neighbouring areas

3.1

The EP Plan covers services which include at least one stop in the plan area. This will be reflected in the EP Scheme(s), except where services are specifically excluded.

3.2

The council will consult neighbouring Local Transport Authorities when proposing measures which have an impact on cross-boundary services. However, plans to improve services in Brighton & Hove are complementary to, and will support, measures neighbouring authorities have included in their BSIPs. Likewise, efforts by these authorities to improve bus services in their areas will help make the bus an attractive option for more people travelling into Brighton & Hove from these areas.

4. The local bus market

4.1

The city is well served by the commercial bus network. Most services are operated by Brighton & Hove Buses. Additional long-distance services are operated by Stagecoach and Metrobus. The council provides financial support for bus routes to communities not served by the commercial network. Contracts for these services are tendered by the council and, at the time of the making of this EP Plan, contracts were held by Brighton & Hove Buses, Compass Travel and The Big Lemon.

5. Relevant factors affecting the local bus market

5.1

The following factors have been identified as being likely to, or having the potential to, affect the local bus market over the life of the EP Plan:

  • Recovery of demand following the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently it is uncertain to what extent travel patterns have changed permanently as a result of measures introduced during the pandemic, for example, increased levels of working from home. It is also unclear to what extent people who have changed their mode of travel during the pandemic will return to travelling by bus for all the trips they made this way before the pandemic.
  • Future availability of government funding. It is not currently known as to whether such funding will continue to be available or as to the level of funding that can be used to support the aspirations of the council and operators set out in the BSIP.
  • • Developments in the city. An increase in the number of households in the city, has the potential to increase demand for travel, including by bus.

6. Information on passengers’ experiences

6.1

The council invited comment from various stakeholders to inform the BSIP. Feedback is also available from local responses to the National Highways & Transport (NHT) survey.

6.2

The council participates in the NHT public satisfaction survey each year. This is undertaken by Ipsos MORI and the University of Leeds Institute of Transport Studies for the NHT Network of authorities.

6.3

Data from 2020 show that Brighton & Hove performs well in comparison to other areas across the majority of criteria and that it was in the top three for overall satisfaction with local bus services and information.

The one area where Brighton & Hove performed less well compared to other areas is on fares, which were perceived to be high by survey respondents.

6.4

Stakeholders were also invited to provide feedback on bus services in the development of the BSIP. This also indicated a good level of satisfaction; however, the most common issues or areas for improvement raised related to the frequency or routing of some services and the cost of fares.

7. Bus journey speeds and the impact of congestion

7.1

The majority of services now take longer to complete their route than they did in 2015 based on the time allowed for in timetables (Based on data from Brighton & Hove Buses for regular services).

The data indicates that:

  • on average, approximately 7% more time was needed for a bus to complete its route in 2019 compared to 2015
  • in the AM peak, 86% of regular services in 2019 had more time built into timetables in at least one direction, with 72% taking 5% or more longer than they did in 2015
  • in the PM peak, all regular services in 2019 had more time built into timetables in at least one direction, with increases of at least 5% compared to 2015

7.2

Reliability has also varied. Punctuality figures for Brighton & Hove Buses, representing most bus services in the city, reduced from 85.5% between April 2014 and March 2015 to 80.4% for the same period in 2019 to 2020.

7.3

In 2020 to 2021, which includes the COVID-19 lockdowns, the figure improved to 87.6%. This demonstrates the potential for improved performance where buses are not inhibited by traffic congestion, although delay at bus stops is also a factor.

8. Outcomes needed to improve bus services in the EP Plan area

8.1

The BSIP identifies the following outcomes, in line with the aspirations of the Government’s National Bus Strategy:

  • More frequent services 
  • Bus journeys to be faster and more reliable
  • Bus travel to be cheaper
  • Buses that are easier to understand
  • Buses that are easier to use
  • Buses better integrated with other modes
  • Bus that are modern and clean

9. Interventions to deliver these outcomes 

9.1

The BSIP identifies a number of interventions that the council and operators consider will be necessary to meet the above outcomes.

These include:

  • maintaining good frequencies on well-served routes
  • improved frequencies on less-well served routes. This could include those supported by the Council to communities not served by the commercial bus network, such as Stanmer Park and parts of East Brighton, and commercial routes to towns to the north of Brighton & Hove
  • establish a road map to all operators introducing zero emissions fleets
  • exploration of additional limited stop services.
  • improvements to bus priority, including to consider the feasibility of further measures on the A259 and A23 south of Preston Park
  • measures to simplify ticketing and ensure passengers are getting the lowest fares available to them
  • marketing campaign to encourage people back on to buses and encourage new users, including visitors to the city
  • continued improvement to stops, including shelters, accessible kerbs and the introduction of route and wayfinding maps

9.2

The council intends that interventions will be detailed within EP Schemes to be developed. EP Schemes will include details of facilities and measures. The council and operators will then have a legal obligation to deliver these.

9.3

EP Schemes will be developed through the lifetime of the EP Plan as the availability of funding and market conditions allow.

10. Complementary policies

10.1

The council’s specific policies and measures to encourage bus use are complemented by its wider transport policies contained in the Local Transport Plan. The council has an objective for Brighton & Hove to be a carbon neutral city by 2030. Introducing policies that support a higher proportion of people to complete journeys by sustainable modes of travel, including bus, will be a key factor in achieving this target.

10.2

Over a number of years, the council has introduced on-street parking controls across much of the city. This helps to generate more sustainable travel, including on buses, through encouraging lower car ownership. The management of parking in areas with high parking pressure and inconsiderate parking also helps reduce bus delays through these areas. The council also has a policy of encouraging visitors to travel into the city centre by sustainable modes where possible and this is reflected in parking charges.

10.3

The council’s parking enforcement contractor employ a team of Civil Enforcement Officers and the council also has a network of cameras monitoring the city’s bus lanes. A breakdown of spending is published each year in the council’s Parking Annual Report.

11. Period covered by the EP Plan 

11.1

The EP Plan will be in place from 31 March 2022. The EP Plan has no end date.

12. Review of the EP Plan

12.1

The DfT requires the BSIP to be reviewed annually and progress against BSIP targets to be monitored every 6 months (National Bus Strategy, March 2021, Page 41) . The council will therefore monitor and update the BSIP in accordance with this requirement during the lifetime of the EP Plan. These timescales would be superseded were the DfT to issue revised frequencies at which updates and progress reporting for the BSIP are required.

12.2

Changes to the EP Plan would be subject to formal variation procedures (As set out in section 138L of the Transport Act 2000) and there is no minimum requirement for reviewing the EP Plan, unlike with the BSIP. Therefore, this EP Plan does not include a timescale for when it will be updated. The need for an update to the EP Plan will however be considered by council officers were changes to be made to the BSIP that mean the EP Plan is no longer accurate.

12.3

EP Schemes have their own review arrangements. This will be detailed within any EP Scheme(s).

13. Consultation on the EP Plan and EP Schemes

13.1

The council will follow the statutory process for developing the EP Plan and EP Schemes. This includes consultation with operators and passenger groups. Once an EP Scheme is made, non-statutory consultation may be held on some facilities and measures prior to their implementation. The extent of non-statutory consultation will be dependent on the nature of each intervention. For example, bus priority proposals would typically include a public consultation, whereas measures to improve bus accessibility would be subject to targeted engagement with bus users. Some interventions will also require a separate statutory process, for example, the advertisement of a Traffic Regulation Order.

13.2

EP Forum meetings will be held as detailed within the EP Scheme. These meetings will provide an opportunity for progress against the EP Plan to be reviewed.

13.3

The council will consult operators and Brighton Area Buswatch on changes that may be included in an annual update to the BSIP.

13.4

Elected Members of the council will be asked to consider a report each year outlining progress against the BSIP and any changes recommended to the BSIP.

13.5

Were updates to the BSIP to result in changes being made to the EP Plan, this will follow the formal variation procedures which include a period of  statutory consultation. Changes to the BSIP will not necessarily result in changes to the EP Plan.

13.6

Elected Members of the council will be asked to consider changes to the EP Plan and new or amended EP Scheme(s) where this contains content which is additional or contradicts the current approved BSIP. For the avoidance of doubt, BSIP actions will not always be represented in EP Schemes and the omission of BSIP content from EP Schemes does not represent a contradiction.

Part 2 - EP Scheme

The Brighton & Hove City Council Enhanced Partnership Plan for buses is made in accordance with Section 138G (1) of the Transport Act 2000 by Brighton & Hove City Council.

Section 1 – EP Scheme content

1.1

This document fulfils the statutory requirements for an EP Scheme. In accordance with statutory requirements in section 138 of the Transport Act 2000, the EP Scheme document sets out:

  • Section 2 - Scope of the EP Scheme and commencement date
  • Section 3 - Obligations on the Council
  • Section 4 - Obligations on Bus Operators
  • Section 5 – Governance Arrangements

1.2

The EP Scheme can only be put in place if an associated EP Plan has been made. Therefore, this document should be considered alongside the associated EP Plan.

1.3

The EP Scheme has been jointly developed by Brighton & Hove City Council as Local Transport Authority and those bus operators that provide local bus services in the EP Scheme area. It sets out obligations and requirements on both the Local Transport Authority and operators of local services in order to achieve the intended improvements, with the aim of delivering the objectives of the associated EP Plan.

Section 2 - Scope of the EP Scheme and Commencement date

Description of geographical coverage

2.1

The EP Scheme can only be put in place if an associated EP Plan has been made. Therefore, this document should be considered alongside the associated EP Plan.

2.2

The EP Scheme will support the improvement of all local bus services operating within the Brighton & Hove City Council boundary.

Map of EP Plan and EP Scheme areas

2.3

The EP Plan and EP Scheme cover the same geographical area. This is the are within the boundary of the Brighton & Hove City Council unitary authority.

This is shown in Figure 2.1.

Figure 2.1: Map showing Brighton & Hove City Council area covered by the EP Plan and EP Scheme

Contains Ordnance Survey and National Statistics data © Crown copyright and database right.

Commencement date

2.4

The EP Plan and EP Scheme are made on 31 March 2022. The EP Plan will have no end date. The EP Scheme will also have no specific end date.

Exempted services

2.5

The following services are exempt from the requirements of the EP Scheme:

  • a service which has part or all of its route registered as a local service in the EP geographical area, but where it operates as a long-distance coach service
  • a service which is registered as a local service under section 6 of the Transport Act 1985 but which would otherwise be an excursion or tour within the meaning in section 137(1) of that Act

Section 3 - Obligations on the council

Facilities 

(Provided under s.138D(1) of the Transport Act 2000)

Bus Priority

3.1

The council will provide and maintain the list of bus lanes and bus gates described in Annex A.

3.2

The council will also commission and publish an update to the city’s Bus Network Review by June 2022. This is a document identifying potential improvements to the highway network to reduce delay for buses. The council will monitor progress against the Bus Network Review annually thereafter.

3.3

Any programme for subsequent installations or changes will replace Annex A using the Enhanced Partnership Scheme Bespoke Variation arrangements at Section 5.

Bus Stops

3.4

The council commits to continuing to expand the number of accessible bus stop kerbs. The number and timescale is subject to confirmation of funding.

Measures

(Provided under section 138D(2) of the Transport Act 2000)

Enforcement

3.5

The council will use the discretionary powers granted in the Traffic Management Act 2004 to enforce the list of bus lanes and bus gates provided in Annex A with CCTV equipment.

3.6

Any programme for subsequent installations or changes will amend Annex A using the Enhanced Partnership Scheme Bespoke Variation arrangements at Section 5.

3.7

The council will also develop design proposals for red routes on Lewes Road and London Road by 1 April 2023. The implementation of any proposals will be subject to a consultation process and will include a Traffic Regulation Order being advertised.

3.8

The arrangements outlined in paragraphs 3.5 to 3.7 may be varied in future using the Enhanced Partnership Scheme Bespoke Variation arrangements at Section 5.

Section 4 - Obligations on Local Bus Operators

(Under section 138C of the Transport Act 2000)

Vehicle and accessibility standards

4.1

New vehicles registered on or after the EP Scheme commencement date must meet the following requirements:

  • CCTV installed for safety and security. This will provide images inside the vehicle for safety and security
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Automatic Vehicle Location equipment installed that will feed into the real time information system
  • Heating and cooling for customer comfort
  • USB charging available, including at every wheelchair space and priority seats
  • Audio visual announcements, which apply to both decks where a bus has two decks:
    • Next stop audio announcements, including through an induction hearing loop at every wheelchair space and priority seats.
    • Next stop visual announcements.
  • Be accessible to all including the following features:
    • Step free access to the lower deck. o Ramps which can be deployed on request
    • At least one wheelchair space
    • Floors that are not coloured black or another dark colour, in order to improve accessibility for people with dementia
  • Option to pay for tickets through contactless ticketing

4.2

In addition, operators shall:

  • provide a Wheelchair Taxi Guarantee Scheme. Under the Wheelchair Taxi Guarantee Scheme, operators shall provide a taxi if, for any reason, a wheelchair user is unable to board. Where such a situation arises, the bus driver shall request a taxi from the operator’s control centre and provide the passenger who is unable to board with a leaflet outlining the Wheelchair Taxi Guarantee Scheme
  • Permit assistance dogs on all services

4.3

The arrangements outlined in paragraphs 4.1 to 4.2 will be adopted and varied in future using the Enhanced Partnership Scheme Bespoke Variation arrangements at section 5.

Section 5 – Governance arrangements

EP Forum

5.1

The future content and arrangements for the variation and revocation of the EP Plan and EP Scheme will be considered by a Forum, whose members comprise the council and bus operators providing local bus services within the EP Plan area. The Forum will also have a Passenger Representative from Brighton Area Buswatch. The Passenger Representative will be invited to advise the EP Forum on the views of passengers, contribute to discussions and table agenda items; however, they will not have a decision-making role on the EP Forum.

5.2

The EP Forum will be chaired by a Member of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee.

5.3

Guest attendees may be invited to the EP Forum on an ad-hoc basis. Guest attendees will have no decision-making role.

5.4

The EP Forum will meet quarterly.

5.5

Additional meetings may be called, for example, to consider urgent issues.

5.6

All meetings will be arranged by the council. Agenda papers and minutes from the previous meeting will be circulated in advance of each meeting.

5.7

Meetings will either be held at Hove Town Hall or virtually. Other meeting locations may be used from time to time with the prior agreement of Forum members.

5.8

The above arrangements for the EP Forum will be adopted and varied in future using the Enhanced Partnership Scheme Bespoke Variation arrangements in paragraphs 5.13 to 5.14.

Review of EP Scheme

5.9

Once the EP Scheme is made, it will be reviewed by the EP Forum every 6 months following publication of data on progress towards targets, as required by the BSIP. This will ensure any necessary action is taken to deliver the targets set out in the BSIP. The council will initiate each review.

5.10

The EP Forum can also decide to review specific elements of the scheme on an ad-hoc basis. EP Forum members should contact the council’s public transport team by email explaining what the issue is and its urgency. The council will then decide whether to table at the next scheduled meeting or make arrangements for all or the necessary EP Forum members to gather more quickly.

Bespoke arrangements for varying or revoking the Enhanced Partnership Scheme.

5.11

Under powers at section 138E and as permitted by section 138(K)(7) of the Transport Act 2000, this EP Scheme may be varied or revoked in accordance with the bespoke mechanism as set out in this section (5). Any provision of the EP Scheme may be amended in accordance with such bespoke mechanism including, without limitation, as to its scope, its duration, this clause (5.11) and/or any other provision of this EP Scheme.

Proposer of a variation

5.12

Consideration will be given to potential EP Scheme variations highlighted either by the council, one of the organisations represented on the EP Forum, or by an operator of local bus services. The proposer of a variation should demonstrate how this might contribute to achieving the objectives set out in the BSIP, EP Plan and current local transport policies. Such requests should be in writing and submitted to the council’s public transport team by email. The council will forward all requests on to all EP Forum members within 10 working days.

Decision-making process and bespoke objection mechanism

5.13

On receipt of a request for a variation under this section, the council will reconvene the EP Forum, giving at least 14 days’ notice for the meeting, to consider the proposed variation. If the proposed variation is agreed by all bus operator representatives present, and if the council also agrees, the council will make the EP Scheme variation within 15 working days and publish the revised EP Scheme on its website. If all operators do not agree, the following criteria will be applied:

Criteria 1:

  • The combined registered distance of all the qualifying local services operated by objectors in the EP Scheme area is at least 25% of the total registered distance of all local bus services operated by all the bus operators in that area and:

    • where there are 4 or more operators in the EP Scheme area, at least 3 are objectors; or
    • where there are less than 4 operators in the EP Scheme area, all are objectors.

Criteria 2:

  • At least 50% of the total number of operators of qualifying local services within the EP Scheme area have objected and the combined registered distance of qualifying local services operated by the objectors in the area subject to the variation is at least 4% of the registered distance of all local bus services operated by all the bus operators in that area.

5.14

If either criteria are satisfied, the variation will not be agreed.

5.15

Eligible EP Forum members who are absent or not expressing a view at the meeting (either in person or in writing) will be deemed to be abstaining from the decision.

5.16

The agreement by representatives of the council at the EP Forum may be subject to a formal decision by elected Members of the Council. In this case, the making of an EP Scheme variation will be postponed until the decision is made by elected Members of the Council.

Revocation of an EP Scheme

5.17

If the council or a bus operator member of the EP Forum believes it is necessary to revoke the EP Scheme, the EP Forum will be reconvened. If the decision is taken to revoke the EP Scheme, it will follow the bespoke decision making arrangements as set out earlier in this section.

5.18

If at any point in the future, any area covered by this EP Scheme is included in a bus franchising scheme, the relevant requirements set out in this EP Scheme document will cease to apply to areas covered by the franchising scheme, in line with the arrangements set out in the franchising scheme. (Section 123H(6) to (8) of the Transport Act 2000)

Annex A

Schedule of facilities

Current bus priority

The current bus priority restrictions detailed below will be maintained by the council as part of the EP Scheme.

Type of restriction: Bus gate

London Road south of Preston Circus

Hours of operation: 24 hour

North Street, Brighton between its junctions with East Street and Queens Road

Hours of operation: 24 hour

Oxford Street, Brighton westbound, west of Oxford Place

Hours of operation: 24 hour

York Place/ Gloucester Place / Marlborough Place, Brighton

Hours of operation: 24 hour

Dyke Road, Brighton south of Queen Square

Hours of operation: 24 hour

Western Road / North Street, Brighton eastbound

Hours of operation: 8am to 8pm

Type of restriction: Bus lane

Western Road eastbound between Montpelier Road and Clarence Square

Hours of operation: 24 hour

A23 southbound between the Deneway and Preston Drove

Hours of operation: 24 hour

A23 northbound between Grange Close and South Road

Hours of operation: 24 hour

A259 eastbound between Greenways and Park Road

Hours of operation: 24 hour

A259 westbound between Saltdean Park Road and Newlands Road Bus

Hours of operation: 24 hour

Lewes Road northbound between Bear Road and Stony Mere Way

Hours of operation: 24 hour

Lewes Road southbound between Coldean Lane and Melbourne Street

Hours of operation: 24 hour

Edward Street westbound between Upper Bedford Street and Princes Street

Hours of operation: Monday to Friday 7am to 10am and 4pm to 7pm

Edward Street eastbound between Tillstone Street and Freshfield Road

Hours of operation: Monday to Friday 7am to 10am and 4pm to 7pm

Future bus priority

By April 2023, the council will undertake feasibility studies on the introduction of additional bus priority in the locations identified below.

The implementation of any additional bus priority will be subject to the outcome of these feasibility studies, public consultation, the completion of the statutory Traffic Regulation Order process, decisions to be made by Elected Members of the Council and the availability of funding.

Potential future bus priority restrictions

A259 between its junctions with Greenways and A23 Old Steine

  • Type of restriction: to be determined
  • Hours of operation: to be determined

A23 Beaconsfield Road and London Road between Preston Circus and Cheapside

  • Type of restriction: to be determined
  • Hours of operation: to be determined

 

 

Annex B

Definitions for use in the document

Bus Gate

Short stretch of road carriageway that is restricted to use by buses and (where specified) taxis and other authorised vehicles as indicated on appropriate signage on the approach.

Bus Lane

Signposted lane, designated for use by registered local bus services and (where specified) taxis and other authorised vehicles, at the times also indicated by signage.

Bus Lane Enforcement

Action taken to ensure that bus lanes and bus gates are used only by authorised vehicles. This is often carried out by using cameras to record unauthorised use, with the issue of civil penalties to offenders under section 144 of the Transport Act 2000.

Bus Stand

Bus stop clearway as defined in accordance with paragraph 1(a) of Part 1 to Schedule 19 of The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 but which will permit a local bus to stand within the clearway for as long as maybe necessary up to a maximum period of 10 minutes.

CCTV

Closed circuit television system, whereby static or mobile cameras are used to record offences or for surveillance and safety and security purposes.

Enforcement Camera

Roadside camera that records and produces suitable evidence of unauthorised use of bus lanes or bus gates for the Local Highway Authority to issue civil penalties under section 144 of the Transport Act 2000.

EP Scheme Area

Area to which this EP Scheme document applies.

Facilities

Physical assets that are provided at specific locations along particular routes (or parts of routes) within the EP scheme area or new and improved bus priority measures. This is deemed for such purposes of section 138D(1) of the Transport Act 2000.

Measures

Improvements with the aim of:

  • increasing the use of local bus service serving the routes to which the measures relate or ending or reducing a decline in their use; or
  • improving the quality of local bus service

Local Highway Authority

Local Authority with responsibility for the maintenance of highway infrastructure in its local authority area. In the case of this EP Scheme, this means Brighton & Hove City Council.

Multi-Operator Ticketing

Common fares and ticketing product applied and accepted by multiple operators.

Real Time Information

Using technology to track the location of buses in real time. Information is transmitted to bus stops or devices to indicate to passengers the predicted arrival time at a particular point.

Registered Local Bus Service

As set out in Section 2 of the Transport Act 1985.

Street Works Permit

Permit issued by Local Highway Authorities to any organisation that wishes to undertake street works, with the aim of managing works on the public highway. Local authorities have powers to operate permit schemes under Part 3 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 and The Traffic Management Permit Scheme (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2015.

TRO

Traffic Regulation Order, made under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 or any other enactment regulating the use of roads or other places.

Brighton & Hove City Council Enhanced Partnership Plan

Document made pursuant to section 138A of the Transport Act 2000 and which is required to be in place for an EP Scheme to be made.

Zero Emission Vehicle

Vehicle that emits no pollutants from its power source or exhaust system.

Annex C

Competition Declaration

Brighton & Hove City Council has undertaken an assessment of the impacts of the EP Plan and Scheme made on 31 March 2022 on competition and believes it will not or is unlikely to have a significantly adverse effect on competition, for the purposes of Part 1 of Schedule 10 of the Transport Act 2000.