Portrait shot of Lydia Horbury, Bus Users UK Director for England

Joining the dots: the BSIP refresh and multi-modal transport integration

With the BSIP refresh on the horizon, Bus Users UK’s Director for England, Lydia Horbury, sees opportunities for multi-modal travel  

In the evolving landscape of transport policy, the need for a shift towards public, shared, and active travel has never been more apparent. The focus on prioritising these modes over private vehicles not only addresses transport inequality but also tackles congestion head-on. As we delve into the intricacies of transport planning, the BSIP 2024 Refresh emerges as a pivotal opportunity for modal integration and progressive change.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has set a deadline of 12 June 2024 for the submission of refreshed BSIPs, marking a crucial moment for local authorities to re-evaluate and enhance their existing plans. Since 2021, significant progress has been made in implementing the current BSIP plans and this refresh presents an opportunity to align strategies with evolving needs and priorities.

Looking ahead to the financial year 2024/25, the refresh must prepare for the future, setting ambitious yet flexible goals for the period spanning 2025/26 to 2028/29. This forward-looking approach aims to establish a high-quality pipeline of proposals that cater to evolving transportation needs.

Central to the BSIP process is consultation with key stakeholders, including bus operators, community-based groups and other transport operators such as rail, ferry, tram, walking and cycling groups. And with the focus across all modes, this is an unprecedented opportunity to improve integration between them.

Rail integration features particularly prominently in the guidance provided to Local Transport Authorities (LTAs), underscoring the importance of bus-rail interchange and inter-bus transfers. The vision outlined in the BSIP guidance advocates for multi-modal ticketing solutions and the establishment of transport hubs, with railway stations identified as prime locations for enhancing integration.

At the heart of the BSIP lies a commitment to improving accessibility and connectivity for all residents and communities. This extends beyond merely providing bus services to encompass broader infrastructure and integration initiatives. However, all plans must receive approval from the DfT, ensuring alignment with overarching transportation objectives.

Challenges persist in achieving seamless rail and bus integration, with accessibility barriers and operational constraints hindering progress. Addressing these challenges requires a concerted effort, involving local representatives, transport operators, and community organisations.

As we navigate the complexities of transportation planning, it is imperative to highlight the societal and economic benefits of investing in public transport. From reducing loneliness and isolation to alleviating congestion and pollution, the case for sustainable travel options grows ever stronger.

In the pursuit of modal integration and the BSIP 2024 refresh, collaboration, innovation and a commitment to inclusivity will be paramount. By harnessing the collective efforts of stakeholders and communities, we can forge a transport network that is accessible, efficient and equitable for all.

Bus Users 2024-05-13T19:58:02+01:00