13th May, 2021

Councillor vows to overcome public transport setback after Bromsgrove loses its electric bus town bid

Tristan Harris 25th Nov, 2020 Updated: 25th Nov, 2020

BROMSGROVE has lost out on its bid to become a UK electric bus town.

The Department of Transport (DoT), which had £50million up for grabs, received 19 bids in total but only two were taken forward.

Bromsgrove’s proposal was submitted in July by the county council and was praised by the DoT for submitting such a strong bid.

Coun Adam Kent, whose portfolio on Bromsgrove District Council covers transport, said: “The two chosen areas were much bigger cities and, whilst we are disappointed and it is a setback, it will not deter us from moving forward with our plans.”

He added the authority was already looking at innovative forms of transport and had already held a number of meetings with Worcestershire County Council to procure extra services.

One of the options would be to introduce ‘demand responsive transport’ where electric buses could be used to link the railway station and the town centre in the quickest and greenest way possible.

Electric buses would wait at the station to connect with train arrivals and take passengers straight to the town centre.

Likewise, the return journeys would aim to get passengers to the station just before trains were due to depart, effectively eradicating missed connections.

Coun Kent added: “Because it is only a short journey, the buses would not need a huge range and could be charged at the station whilst waiting for the trains to arrive.

“The buses would also operate to the morning and evening peak times to make it more convenient for commuters.

“We want to make the system as reliable as possible so it becomes almost as if the railway station is in the town centre.

“Levels of public transport use in the district is low and we need to change that to benefit the district and the best way to do that is through active travel options.”

The council is also looking at ways to encourage more people to walk and cycle to get to their public transport stations and stops.

And it hopes to introduce more real time information boards so people could see exactly when their buses were due.

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