Bus Service Improvement Plan

Our aims and objectives for improving bus travel in West Sussex.

1 Background

Bus travel plays an important role in the lives of many of our residents.

The plan below sets out the ways in which we can help to sustain and improve local bus and community transport services in the years ahead.

The programme outlines:

  • the key challenges we face, such as influencing travel behaviour and removing the barriers to improving bus services
  • new opportunities to work with bus companies and other partner organisations to help us achieve this.

West Sussex are working on an updated plan which will be published later this year.

Enhanced Partnership

The Bus Services Act 2017 updated the Transport Act 2000 to provide the County Council with powers to improve bus provision through an Enhanced Partnership with operators of local bus services.

West Sussex County Council (WSCC) formed an Enhanced Partnership with local bus operators in 2021. The partnership was established to deliver countywide bus service recovery and improvements in line with the Bus Back Better National Bus Strategy for England. A number of both capital and revenue schemes were included in a spending plan agreed by the Department for Transport.

2 Our aim

Enhanced Partnership (EP) aims to:

  • deliver an improved bus offer in West Sussex
  • contribute to the ambitions set out in the West Sussex Transport Plan
  • deliver Climate Change Strategy.

The partnership developed the Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) to improve bus services in West Sussex and reverse the Covid related shift in journeys away from public transport and encourage passengers back to bus travel.

Following submission of the BSIP in October 2021, Department for Transport (DfT) confirmed in April 2022 that the council be provided with £17,401,596 to support delivery of the BSIP.

3 What we are delivering

Capital funded (long term investments in infrastructure and assets)

  • Real Time Passenger Information screens: Funding 425 Real Time Passenger Information screens (RTPI) across the county. The programme started in January 2024.
  • Traffic Light Priority: Signal upgrades programme is being funded to improve signalling at 20 junctions and give buses priority. Focussing on improved journey times for the Coastliner Route 700.
  • Western Boulevard scheme: Delivering dedicated bus lanes on The Boulevard (west) at the junction with The Broadway, Crawley and bus priority at adjacent signal locations. Crawley Borough Council are leading delivery of this scheme - Western Boulevard | Invest Crawley.
  • Manor Royal Bus Lane Phase 3: Extension to the recently constructed eastbound bus lane in Manor Royal in Crawley from Crompton Way to London Road (A23). This project forms phase 3 of the bus lane extension works in Manor Royal.
  • Bus Stop Improvements: Programme of bus stop improvements across the county. Phase 1 focussed on improvements of the new 500 Bus Service route and these stops were completed in 2023. Phase 2 include improvements to 45 bus stops countywide.
  • Hydrogen Fastway Running Improvements: Improvements to the Hydrogen Fastway Routes 10 and 20 in Crawley. This will improve transit speeds, accessibility and passenger satisfaction. Works will include improved bus stops, surfacing and highway adjustments to improve bus journey times.

Revenue funded (day-to-day operational costs providing essential services)

  • 16 to 20 Bus Saver: Introduction of a bus fare discount scheme for young people (16 to 20-year-olds) across the county.
  • New 500 Bus Route: New 500 service is being run by Stagecoach South, commenced in July 2023. The route runs between Chichester, Shopwhyke, Tangmere, Fontwell, Barnham, Yapton and Littlehampton - Stagecoach - Service 500 timetable.
  • Digital Demand Responsive Transport (DDRT): Managing services to connect communities where common bus services will not work on their own - Book-a-Bus.
  • Promoting benefits of bus travel: Encouraging existing, old and new users to travel by bus more often - Bus it!
Open the BSIP map browser

4 Supporting documents

The Enhanced Partnership Plan and scheme documents below apply to all local bus services within the county, unless specifically exempt under the terms of the Enhanced Partnership Scheme.

These documents have been consulted on and no subsequent amendments have been made. Copies of the documents in print or alternative formats can be provided by emailing transporthub@westsussex.gov.uk.

Last updated:
10 April 2024
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