City of Wolverhampton Council is set to develop a Statutory Quality Bus Partnership (SQBP) for the city centre with one of the core aims to help improve bus service standards.

The council will be working with Transport for the West Midlands (TfWM), the transport arm of the new West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), to consult bus operators, with a view to implementation of the scheme from early 2017.

Major benefits of the partnership include the improved quality of buses and better control of operators within the confines of the city centre ring road, as well as improving the air quality.

Councillor Steve Evans, Cabinet Member for City Environment, said: "The partnership will help us better control the quality of vehicles, emissions standards and the management of bus stops and stands to ensure reliability of journey times within the city centre.

"The scheme will go a long way to improving the city centre environment for pedestrians and bring an improvement in services for commuters."

The SQBP will set an agreed emissions standard for buses, with the plan to allow only buses that meet that standard within the city centre by 2021/22.

Within the SQBP area all bus stopping areas would be subject to a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) which would allow the dwell time for vehicles to be restricted and controlled.

Through this TRO TfWM would be able to operate a booking system for all on street space within the SQBP area, which would result in guaranteed slots for operators at bus stops and stands.

Operators would benefit from guaranteed timings for their services and the city would have greater control of how vehicles operate; this would reduce instances of congestion caused by queuing/waiting buses.

Abuse of stops for extended waiting and conflict between services accessing stops would also be addressed.

Pete Bond, TfWM's Director of Transport Services, said: "Working closely with Wolverhampton on this and other transport schemes such as the Interchange project, makes it easier to deliver the sort of high quality public transport that passengers need and deserve.

"This SQBP will help drive up standards for bus passengers while cutting congestion and pollution in the city centre."

  • released: Friday 1 July, 2016