A PLAN to "transform" public transport in Worcestershire has been approved by the County Council.

A new Bus Service Improvement Plan will look to improve bus provision in the county, with a particular focus on integrating bus services with other modes of travel, introducing multi-operator and multi-modal tickets, improving services in rural areas, boosting infrastructure such as bus shelters, and taking on new responsibility for punctuality, reliability and frequency.

Councillor Alan Amos, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Highways and Transport, said: “We want to expand the bus network and Community Transport to provide more services that take people to where they want to go when they want to go. We will have new powers but also new responsibilities. It is going to be a massive challenge but we are grasping this exciting and ambitious opportunity with both hands.

"Buses are the real affective alternative to enabling people to get out of their cars. My ambition, with this strategy, is to integrate the bus network with other travel networks such as rail, so you can easily travel between the two forms of transport, often without needing another ticket.

"This plan sets out a major and complete transformation of bus services, throughout the county, and I’m excited that the strategy can now be brought into effect allowing Worcestershire to become a proper local Transport Authority. The plan will look to build on the key elements of the Worcestershire Passenger Transport Strategy, already adopted by the Council in 2019, and the Council’s key improvements for the bus network in recent years.

"It will also look to ensure that services are better communicated to residents, whilst being reliable and punctual, frequent and where it is possible extend or offer more services in the early morning and late evening, and particularly at weekends.

"A number of exciting and innovative additions have already been rolled out in Worcestershire, including the Bromsgrove on-demand Bus Service, which allows passengers to book their bus travel, to be picked up and dropped off where they want at a time they want; the first bee-friendly bus shelter roof has been installed in Bedwardine; and wind and solar technologies are being used at Bromsgrove Bus Station, the first of its kind in Europe.”

It comes as the Department for Transport recently published the National Bus Strategy outlining its ambition to improve bus services in England which stated that to take part, Local Transport Authorities commit to an Enhanced Partnership with local bus operators.

Worcestershire County Council is set to enter an Enhanced Partnership by the end of March 2022.