North East Bus Enhanced Partnership

Our bus network is a vital part of our public transport system which is hugely important to our local economy, society and environment. The region has relatively low car ownership, with around 75% of journeys by bus, so it’s clear that buses have a major role to play.

On 15 March 2021, “Bus Back Better: The National Bus Strategy’ was published by the Department for Transport. The strategy sets out the Government’s vision for bus services outside of London, with cheaper and simpler fares, quicker and more reliable journeys and improvements to timetables all promised. £3 billion has been allocated by Government to help drive these outcomes.

The national strategy requires local authorities across the UK to formalise partnerships with bus operators in the form of an Enhanced Partnership (EP) by April 2022, unless they have already started a statutory process to develop a franchising arrangement. 

The North East Joint Transport Committee has given approval to proceed with preparing an Enhanced Partnership Plan and Schemes with local bus operators, NEBus and the project is ongoing.

An Enhanced Partnership is where local transport authorities and bus operators agree a detailed partnership plan (a Bus Service Improvement Plan) that is refined through consultation. A series of partnership schemes are built into the final agreed enhanced partnership plan.

An enhanced bus network is key to achieving our aim of creating a green, healthy, dynamic and thriving North East. Buses are integral to achieving economic growth, and our vision will help people make greener and healthier travel choices, creating a network that can take everyone where they need to go for work, education, healthcare, shopping or other leisure activities at a price they can afford.

North East Bus Partnership team at the launch of the Voltra electric bus and new e-ink bus timetable
The Enhanced Partnership aims to bring great change to the region’s bus network.

Notice of Intent to Prepare an Enhanced Partnership Plan and Schemes

At its meeting on 15th June 2021, the North East Joint Transport Committee 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. 

The Proposed Scheme as currently envisaged will cover the local government administrative areas of Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, South Tyneside, Durham and Sunderland. All operators of registered local bus services which operate within the proposed area will be invited to participate in the development and delivery of the Enhanced Bus Partnership.

For further information, please contact  buses@transportnortheast.gov.uk

Signed: Mike Barker

Dated: 28th June 2021

For and on behalf of the North East Joint Transport Committee

For more information on the Enhanced Partnership click here.

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Projects & Campaigns

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) policy
In March 2022, The North East Joint Transport Committee approved the first region-wide Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) policy, an outline of the region’s aim to lead the country in boosting the up-take of Electric Vehicles by developing and expanding charging
Bus Service Improvement Plan
The region’s first Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) unveiled a new £804 million bid to Government which transport leaders are confident will dramatically transform bus services across the North East.
Active Travel Campaign, ‘Go Smarter, Go Active’
In parts of the North East cycling is up between 5%-120%, and active travel is more popular than ever as people keep up their new love of walking and cycling post lockdown.