Cornwall’s bus investment encouraging patronage rise

A focus on investing in buses in Cornwall is encouraging patronage to rise, according to Cllr Richard Williams-Pears, transport portfolio holder at Cornwall Council. Writing on the Campaign for Better Transport’s blog, he says the council’s investment has maintained a ‘largely stable local bus network’. He notes this is in ‘direct contrast’ to many other rural local authorities.

Richard writes: “Working in partnership with operators under the brand Transport for Cornwall we have introduced a high quality, customer focused public transport network for our residents and visitors, with the aim of attracting and growing patronage to make the whole network more financially sustainable. As such we are currently delivering our £17.2 million ‘Bus Service Improvement Plan’ alongside the Department for Transport funded £23.5 million Bus Fares Pilot.”

A simplified fares structure was key to the launch of the reduced fares scheme, according to Richard. Countywide products were introduced across all operators offering fare reductions of up to 36%.

The result of this, Richard reports, is a shift in travel behaviour with more people using buses. Overall patronage on buses has recovered since the Covid-19 pandemic and greater numbers are now using the services in the county. A ‘very promising’ development is that Cornwall now has a greater proportion of adult fare paying passengers using the services, Richard is keen to highlight.



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