We have asked the political parties and candidates in the upcoming local elections for their views on bus services in North Hertfordshire.
Here are the responses we have received so far:
from Terry Hone (Conservative Candidate for HCC Letchworth ) from election leaflet
[The] government’s latest announcements are largely built around requiring “Enhanced Quality Partnerships” in all areas and still only permitting franchising in areas which have a combined authority Mayor. Of course Hertfordshire already has an “Enhanced Quality Partnership” but it does not really amount to very much. It envisages bus priority schemes to improve service reliability (which operators say is their biggest issue) but in practice nothing very significant is being proposed in the short term.
The present legislation which allows operators to cherry pick the profitable routes or journeys makes it extremely difficult to bring about substantial improvement (a recent attempt to improve the services between Royston, the Mordens, Ashwell and the Letchworth was scuppered when an operator decided to operate part of the Cambridgeshire section of the route commercially).
The Liberal Democrat manifesto includes a commitment to introducing demand responsive services which is a potential way to provide a bus service in those areas where demand is low. It also calls for progress to be made on the A414 mass rapid transit proposals, which may be operated by buses (although light rail would be a better solution) running East – West across the county. This does not directly benefit North Herts of course, but there is also some discussion of a second East – West corridor along the A505 which would.
The manifesto also calls for steps to ensure that many very large developments planned around Hertfordshire are designed to allow access by sustainable modes, which of course includes buses.
At a more detailed level there is clearly some scope for making minor improvements, such as contact less payments and better real time journey information but major change depends on legislative change which is notably absent from the government’s revised bus strategy.
The Green Party will prioritise a shift from private vehicle usage towards a fully funded and universally accessible transport network that’s efficient, affordable, and not based on profit. The resulting decrease in traffic and pollution, and increase in well-being, benefits everyone.
+ Follow best practice as demonstrated around the country and world
+ Listen to bus users and user groups
For more details see: https://northherts.greenparty.org.uk/elections/buses2021/
see the links below for
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North Herts Bus User Group
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