Public and shared transport policy area

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About this policy

Principle

Shift travel to more sustainable modes: public transport, walking, and cycling, away from car use.

Purpose

To provide High-quality, reliable, affordable, and joined up public, shared and demand responsive transport, supported by accessible and easy to use travel information and booking systems.

Policy statement

For many longer journeys, travel by bus or rail is the most attractive option. Working with operators, opportunities exist to improve end-to-end journeys by public transport, including environments at stations and access to them. The network of bus services will be reviewed to identify ways to improve the coverage of the network, service frequencies, reliability, fares and customer experience. Where demand is lower, such as in rural areas, shared transport and demand responsive transport will play an important role, as will park and ride and car clubs. Making it easy to plan, book and pay for journeys is an important aspect. The development of high-quality 'Mobility as a Service (MaaS)' technology (such as a travel app for smartphones), which simplifies this process, will be critical to making this happen.

Measures

Improving, integrating and simplifying services

We will identify practical opportunities to improve integration between services, through better timetable alignment for both bus and rail services, as well as improved physical connections. When considering opportunities for new services, we will review the options to expand park and ride, building on the success of our Guildford services

We will pursue available sources of funding to improve the services on the bus network, including the funding associated with the National Bus Strategy, the Levelling Up Fund, funding from Local Enterprise Partnerships and from developers.

Funding from developers will be obtained by introducing requirements for new developments to be served by good quality bus services that integrate with the existing public transport network. This will require co-ordination with District and Borough councils as planning authorities and developers.

We will continue to work with partners to make the case for rail improvements such as additional services on the North Downs and Tonbridge lines. We will also support improvements to orbital rail capacity and frequency, particularly where it can support sustainable housing and employment growth cost effectively.

We will consider the opportunities for a 'Total Transport' approach, coordinating bus services with other public sector transport provision (including hospital transport and school transport), with the aim of minimising any duplication between services and maximising journey opportunities.

Branding and clear information provision also play a key role in making the public transport system simpler to understand and more attractive to potential passengers. We will review opportunities to provide high quality information to passengers, for instance through our web-based service. We will also identify opportunities to expand provision of real time passenger information which is already present across much of the network and will be further expanded by recently agreed funding of £1.4 million.

Improving journey time reliability

We will improve bus priority through measures such as bus lanes, traffic signal prioritisation and bus gates. We will consider how to keep bus routes clear of parking and loading activities and enforce bus lane rules.

Simplifying ticketing and fares

We will review the options to develop our fares structures and multimodal ticketing. This would build on our existing successful delivery of ACORN tickets used for different services in North Surrey and integrated ticketing in Woking and Guildford.

Improving accessibility and safety

It is a core requirement that public and shared transport services are accessible to all and provide a safe environment for passengers. We will incorporate 'Security by Design' to address issues of vulnerable and lone travellers and the ways in which design can best support them.

We will work with partners including the Districts and Boroughs to identify how we can extend our previous work to improve bus accessibility and safety. Our developments to date include providing good quality bus shelters, readily available real time information and design changes including raised kerbs and improved lighting levels. Consideration of sight lines and the provision of CCTV on buses and at some stops also play a key role in designing for safety.

We will review the opportunities to improve the walking and cycling networks that provide access to bus stops, with the aim of making them more direct, safer, easier to negotiate and more attractive to all sectors of the population.

Expanding shared transport provision

We will support the expansion of shared mobility to complement and expand the reach of our public transport system. This is likely to include introducing Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) services. DRT services typically serve an identified route and timetable but only run if passengers pre-book and only serve those parts of the routes required by bookings. If well designed and well known, they can provide an efficient and flexible service.

We will work with Districts and Boroughs to provide appropriate licensing support for ride hailing schemes and conventional taxis.

We will support and promote hire schemes for bikes, e-bikes (and potentially e-scooters, if they become legal) and encourage their siting at key locations such as Mobility Hubs, to provide options for parts of longer journeys.

We will support the expansion of car clubs within Surrey.

Developing Mobility Hubs

We will explore options to develop mobility hubs in Surrey. Mobility hubs are a central point for public and shared transport provision and connections, focussed around rail stations or bus stations or stops where possible. They provide access to a range of modes (for instance bike and car clubs in larger hubs), easily accessible information on travel options and other services such as retail and digital hubs, that provide the facilities required for remote working or access to online appointments or other opportunities.

Developing a MaaS framework

We will explore the potential for developing a Mobility as a Service (MaaS) framework for Surrey as this would provide a route for simplifying and integrating fares across networks and transport types and applying measures such as daily fares caps. A MaaS framework brings together information on transport modes and services, typically in a smartphone application with the ability to journey plan, view real time travel information and pay for full journeys, regardless of the number and range of modes used (with access also available by phone and computer).

A Mobility Credits system linked to the MaaS application will also be explored to help incentivise changes to more sustainable travel behaviour and support accessibility options for groups such as jobseekers (further information on this is available in the Behaviour Change Policy Area).


Contribution to LTP4 objectives

Net zero carbon emissions: Encouraging and enabling more journeys to be made by public and shared transport will reduce carbon emissions by reducing the number of car vehicle kilometres travelled. Public and shared transport services will play a key role in reducing carbon emissions as they carry passengers over long distances and directly replace the greatest proportion of car kilometres removed by mode shift.

Sustainable growth: Bus services generate economic benefits in urban areas by connecting businesses and residents to employers, employees and customers, as well as training and education. They support the vitality of urban economic centres.

Well-connected communities: Our measures to improve public and shared transport services and facilities will increase the travel options available to those without a car, connecting more people to more opportunities and services. Measures to improve the accessibility of public and shared transport stops, stations and services for all will help to increase social mobility and access to opportunities and services.

Clean air and excellent quality of life: Making journeys using public and shared transport modes reduces the impacts of traffic on communities as less vehicles are needed to move people. This leads to improved road safety, air and noise quality and more attractive local environments. Our measures will also enable more people to connect with more opportunities for leisure, green space and socialising, improving quality of life.


Delivery

We will with work with our partners including bus and rail operators to improve and develop our public and shared transport provision.

Our bus measures link to our Bus Service Improvement Plan and rail measures are drawn from our Rail Strategy for Surrey . They include developments to provide simpler, improved and more integrated services and more reliable journey times. We will continue to build upon our work to improve the safety and accessibility of the network and opportunities to simplify and reduce fares will be explored.

Delivery will rely on extending and formalising our strong existing partnerships with bus, rail and shared transport operators and providers.

We have already implemented many bus prioritisation measures across the county, and have recently agreed £9 million funding for further priority schemes. Recently agreed funding of £1.4 million will enable us to expand provision of real-time passenger information

Rural mobility fund

Surrey recently received £0.6 million from the government's Rural Mobility Fund to introduce trial Demand Responsive Transport in rural areas in the Mole Valley using EV minibuses. The aim is to work to complement or replace infrequent services such as those connecting hamlets and villages to nearest towns. The minibuses are fully accessible and will be available on demand by booking through app, phone or online. Residents will also be able to access real time information about availability and location of the minibuses. For more information, see the Mole Valley Connect scheme.


Policy context

Locally

Nationally

  • Bus Back Better (2021): Outlines the requirement for Local Transport Authorities to develop a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) and commit to either Enhanced Partnerships or franchising arrangements with operators. BSIPs will set performance targets and are required to secure future funding.