Transport strategies and funding bids

The Council's Transport Service has produced after a series of major consultation exercises the following strategies:

Active Travel - walking and cycling

Cheshire East Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP)

Government’s National Bus Strategy – “Bus Back Better” – (March 2021) sets out the opportunity to address the challenges facing local bus networks.  It requires Cheshire East Council, as the Local Transport Authority to produce and maintain a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) for the whole borough. 

Our first BSIP was published on 31 October 2021.  This plan covers a five-year period up to 2026/27.  We will review it annually, in line with the Local Transport Plan (LTP) monitoring process.

The local bus network in Cheshire East is facing a number of challenges due to a long-term structural decline in patronage; compounded by recent loss of ridership during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Use of buses could take some time to recover, as passengers need to be confident that using bus services will provide the reliable, safe and cost-effective transport that they expect. These circumstances are not unique to Cheshire East and the Council must work in partnership with local bus companies to make improvements.

Cheshire East’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (PDF, 12 MB)

Our Bus Service Improvement Plan aims to deliver local bus networks that support our urban and rural economies and contribute to our Environment Strategy. Improving the speed, reliability and quality of public transport will encourage more residents to choose bus, making fewer car journeys and contributing to our carbon reduction challenge.

Our plan is focused on three phases

  • Phase 1 – Stabilisation of the Network (2021 to 2023),
  • Phase 2 – Quality Improvements (2022 to 2025, and beyond to 2030), and
  • Phase 3 – Network Growth (2023 to 2025, and beyond to 2030).

Each phase has specific objectives, actions and outcomes with performance indicators and targets to monitor delivery.

We will continue to develop our BSIP will continue to be developed through partnership working between the Council, commercial bus operators and user groups. The next key stage is preparation of a new statutory Enhanced Partnership Agreement, which is expected to be complete in April 2022.

Enhanced Partnership Agreement

Following the production of a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) for Cheshire East and in accordance with Bus Back Better: National Bus Strategy for England, we have worked in unison with bus operators to publish an Enhanced Partnership Plan (EP Plan) and Enhanced Partnership Scheme (EP Scheme). These are formal documents which are available for download.

  • The EP Plan (PDF, 984KB) – contains the high-level vision and objectives for bus services in the local area and reaffirms objectives and targets set out within relevant sections of the BSIP
  • The EP Scheme (PDF, 593KB) – sets out the precise detail of how the BSIP vision and objectives will be achieved, including any commitments made by the local authority or standards to be met by bus operators.

The Department for Transport (DfT) have announced that Cheshire East will not receive Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) funding. In light of this, we have scaled back our EP Scheme document to represent what can be achieved without additional funding from central government.

We have shared the documents with local bus operators across the borough and they have been given the opportunity to object to these under a formal Bus Operator objection period which closed on the 3 June 2022.

There will be potential to extend the scope and ambition of this scheme document and additional schemes can be introduced in accordance with the Bus Service Improvement Plan, once the Enhanced Partnership is in formal operation.

On the 21 July 2022 the decision was made to ‘make’ the Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme documents following committee endorsement. This decision was made following a bus operator objection period and consultation period running from the 13 June 2022 to the 11 July 2022.

BSOG  annual outputs report 2022-2023

Page last reviewed: 18 December 2023