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Next stage reached in One Public Transport System for Cornwall as contract is awarded for vital bus services

Cornwall Council’s One Public Transport System for Cornwall came a step closer today as Cabinet (18 December 2019) agreed to secure a new  8 year contract to deliver a network of Council subsided local bus routes with reduced fares for passengers and more cleaner, greener buses.

Local bus services are a vital lifeline for our residents to be able to travel for work and education, for shopping and for leisure.  The Council subsidises 73 bus routes to connect communities and as a viable alternative to taking the car.  These bus routes would not otherwise be provided by bus operators as they are not commercially viable. 

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Awarding the contract is the next stage in the One Pubic Transport System for Cornwall project which is delivering upon its objectives to improve public transport and provide a seamless integrated public transport network for Cornwall.

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport Geoff Brown said:

“We know that good public transport is important to our residents. Our priority is to make sure that these routes are safeguarded and that passengers who use the bus routes subsidised by the Council get the best possible service. Many people rely on these bus routes for work, for getting to hospital appointments and to go out to see friends and family. Rest assured that they will continue and improve under this new contract.”

 “When awarding the new 8 year contract for delivering the subsidised bus network from April 2020, we took into account how we can increase the use of lower emission vehicles and encourage more people to use public transport in line with our commitment to tackle the climate emergency. We also looked at ticket pricing, the possibilities around increasing the frequency of buses and the quality of the vehicles – all of which will play a part in encouraging residents to use public transport and move away from using cars.”

Geoff adds: “We’re also planning to introduce a 4 year pilot scheme to reduce fares and encourage more people to use buses. Earlier this year, the government awarded Cornwall a £23.5m funding package for a “Reduced Bus Fares” pilot to support the Council’s ongoing commitment to improving bus travel for residents.  We’re planning to introduce a scheme in May 2020 which will significantly reduce the cost of bus travel by establishing town zones and capping the cost for making multiple journeys within these zones. Ultimately we want to deliver an integrated SMART ticketing system for bus, rail and ferry to make it as easy and convenient as possible for residents and visitors to use all forms of public transport.”

Cabinet members also agreed on which company will be offered the contract to operate the Truro Park and Ride for the next eight years from April 2020.  They also agreed that the Council will look again at who will deliver some of the school bus services from April 2020.

For contractual legal reasons, the successful bidders can’t be announced until 10 days have passed following the notification of this decision to the successful bidder and the other companies who have tendered for the contracts.

Story posted 18 December 2019