Bus service improvement plan and enhanced partners

We have commenced the process of responding to the Government’s national bus strategy, Bus Back Better. It places responsibilities on Local Transport Authorities to publish a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), and form Enhanced Partnerships with local bus operators by April 2022. The focus of the strategy is on encouraging and enabling more people to travel by bus. This is through investment in improving services, associated infrastructure and integration with other modes of sustainable travel. 

Isle of Wight BSIP

The BSIP outlines our joint strategic vision with Southern Vectis, as the sole commercial bus operator on the Island, to meet the aspirations of the Government’s national bus strategy; to grow bus usage and raise buses' mode share. This will be achieved through working in partnership with Southern Vectis, as well as the train and ferry operators on the Island.

Our vision

Within the Isle of Wight, both organisations recognise that local bus services are, and will remain to be, central to sustainable transport provision. The BSIP represents a once in a generation opportunity for us to work in partnership with Southern Vectis, and other community operators. Working together we can shape local provision to meet the needs of Island residents and visitors into the future. Through partnership working and ongoing joint investment, the BSIP will enable passenger growth to meet the future needs of Island. As well as whilst addressing emerging challenges including the reductions in greenhouse gases to achieve the Island’s climate change objectives.

The Isle of Wight Bus Service Improvement Plan approved by cabinet on 25 October 2021.

Enhanced Partnerships (EP)

At the meeting held on 16 June 2021 cabinet gave approval to proceed with the development of an Enhanced Partnership. The commencement of this is confirmed through this notice of the intention to prepare an Enhanced Partnership Plan and accompanying Enhanced Partnership Schemes. As required and set out in section 138F of the Transport Act 2000.

These were adopted and ratified by Cabinet in September 2023

EP Plan

The Enhanced Partnership Plan (PDF, 1MB) sets a high-level vision for the Island’s bus network. This includes journey time and reliability targets, and the plans to deliver them. It closely replicates the Isle of Wight BSIP published in October 2021.

The main points of the EP Plan are as follows:

Extent of the Enhanced Partnership

  • Justification
  • Why the Enhanced Partnership route has been chosen.
  • EP Plan duration, review process and alignment to Council strategies
  • Overview of the Island’s Bus Network
  • Analysis of the existing network to EP Objectives
  • IWC EP Objectives

EP Scheme

The Enhanced Partnership Scheme (PDF, 956KB) accompanies the EP Plan sets out the agreed obligations on the Council and Southern Vectis as the local commercial bus operator. It represents the mechanism by which the commitments made in the BSIP and EP Plan are delivered ‘on the ground.’ All parties are clear about their respective obligations, and they are, as far as possible, comprehensively, accurately, and unambiguously recorded.

The main points of the EP Scheme are as follows:

  • Scope of the EP Scheme, commencement date and any exempted local bus services
  • Obligations on the Isle of Wight Council
  • Obligations on Southern Vectis
  • Joint obligations
  • Governance arrangements
  • Review of the EP Scheme