Bus Service Improvement Plans (BSIPs) have been giving bus operators and local authorities sleepless nights over the last six months. They are the Government’s hair-brained scheme to get noticeable and election-winning improvements to bus services operating before the next election. The only winners so far have been the consultants who have written the majority of plans, who are no doubt being paid eyewatering hourly rates.
Act one is now over. I think every authority produced what passes for a plan in time. Some are excellent; for a really good plan look at Leicester City, which has a real plan to improve services over the next few years which local operators strongly support. They plan to introduce a workplace parking levy to fund improvements after the three years when the BSIP money runs out. Some areas, such as Leicester and the metropolitan authorities, have a head start thanks to existing plans and previous funding pots.