New bus plan to meet Torbay’s carbon targets

Members of Torbay Council’s cabinet committee have endorsed an ambitious improvement plan which seeks to get more people using the bay’s bus services. A fleet of electric buses will be a major part of the strategy.

A network of buses serving communities in Torbay could be the key to the bay meeting its climate change commitments.
Members of Torbay Council’s cabinet committee have endorsed an ambitious improvement plan which seeks to get more people using the bay’s bus services. A fleet of electric buses will be a major part of the strategy.
There are nearly six million passengers a year on the bay’s 53 different bus services, provided by Stagecoach, CountryBus, Torbay minibuses and others.
But a survey said only 58 per cent of people were satisfied with local services, and only 71 per cent of the buses ran on time.
The aim is to increase the frequency of buses and get them running later into the evening as well as reducing ticket prices for families and young people and providing better information at bus stops.
Other targets include cutting journey times and improving punctuality.
“This plan will help us to deliver the council’s ambition of improving access for everyone across Torbay, and reducing our carbon output,” said Cllr Adam Billings (Con, Churston with Galmpton). “It will support better access to our town centres.”
Cllr Nick Bye (Con, Wellswood) said more investment in local buses would help to reverse a recent decline in the number of people using them.
“Any investment in bus services would hopefully reverse this modest decline,” he said. “It is in everybody’s interests to get people on the buses, for the sake of the environment and to ease congestion.”
The council needs to deliver its improvement plan in order to unlock grants towards providing better bus services. The previous version helped unlock more than £7 million from the government towards introducing electric buses into Torbay.
The plan says: “Our ambition for buses in Torbay is for step change in the quality of service and infrastructure. Bus travel will be more affordable, integrated with other forms of transport and accessible to all the community.
“We will strive for carbon neutrality and prioritise bus travel alongside active modes of transport in Torbay, giving genuine choice to our residents and visitors for how they can travel.”
 

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