£17 million boost for local bus services

City of York Council has been awarded £17.36 million over three years to support the development of key bus schemes and initiatives across the city.


The council submitted a multi-million pound bid to the Government to help make major improvements to bus provision last year, as detailed in York’s Bus Service Improvement Plan.

The Bus Improvement Plan (BSIP) is a document required by the Department for Transport following the publication of National Bus Strategy in March last year. 

York’s BSIP sets out a new vision to help improve York’s bus network, aiming to make it more inclusive, accessible, attractive and welcoming – becoming a source of pride for the city and its residents.

Key objectives within the plan include:

  • Improving the frequency of bus services, providing more routes and supporting the reintroduction of park and ride services from Poppleton Bar following its use as a COVID-19 testing centre
  • Better, cheaper tickets for young people, and better tickets which are valid for travel on all bus services in York
  • Completing the electrification of York’s bus fleet, following in the footsteps of the 33 electric buses already operating in the city
  • Providing bus priorities and supporting rapid bus services to new developments around York
  • Upgrading York’s Park and Ride network, allowing it to support a wider range of bus services, providing overnight parking at more sites and refurbishing the two oldest sites, at Rawcliffe Bar and Grimston Bar.

The council will lead a partnership of bus users and bus operators to develop projects to spend the £17.36 million improving bus services across the city, in line with previously-agreed BSIP objectives.

Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of the Council, said: “We are really pleased to secure this £17 million investment in the city and in our local bus network.  We know that many residents across the city rely on the city’s buses and with this funding, we hope to make a series of improvements to the local network, from installing new lighting and real time bus information at local bus stops, to increasing the frequency of bus services and providing more routes for residents to access.

“Only last month, we secured £8.4 million to purchase an additional 44 electric buses for the city.  These announcements are a testament to the excellent work already ongoing in the city to decarbonise and enhance the bus network, and the plans we have in place to help improve services for residents across the city.”

The council has also asked for funding to provide benches and lighting at more bus stops, provide audio announcements on all buses in York and install 100 more real time bus information screens across the city.

The city’s Bus Service Improvement Plan is a key supporting document of the council’s new Local Transport Plan. 

The Bus Service Improvement Plan will be reviewed on an annual basis to respond to the changing bus market and to tie in with other policy development such as the Carbon Reduction Plan, Local Plan and Local Transport Plan.

The DfT funding comes after the council was awarded £8.4million to support the purchase of an additional 44 electric buses last month to add to the 33 already in service on the park and ride network. Find out more on this here.

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