Moving into the Future: an Action Plan for Buses in Scotland (Bus Action Plan) identified the need for Scotland-specific bus policy guidance on a series of topics, intended to promote and share best practice with a view to raising the standard of quality in the bus industry. The development of Bus Punctuality Improvement Partnerships ( BPIPs) is a specific objective contained within the Bus Action Plan.
The concept of BPIPS is presented as a positive step which can be taken by authorities and bus operators working in partnership. It is not suggested that it will address every situation, but the case study elements show how it has already been taken forward in Scotland. It is therefore part of the "toolkit" of initiatives which can be developed to address improvements in bus services.
The Scottish Government is committed to working with key stakeholders to improve bus services in Scotland. They are a central part of the Government's transport policies. In March 2008, a High Level Forum of key industry representatives from central and local government, bus operators and regulatory bodies, highlighted the importance of pursuing initiatives on the basis of a partnership approach. This is vital in working for effective bus services and in taking account of the developing roles and responsibilities of local authorities and regional transport partnerships.
BPIPs therefore fit into the partnership approach, and this guidance will sit alongside the general guidance "Progress Through Partnership" published in September 2008, and will be supplemented by further advice and guidance on other topics during the course of this year. This will be supported by the secondment to the Government of a Senior Bus Development Adviser to champion the opportunities for introducing measures and strategies to improve the quality of bus services.
A BPIP therefore is the perfect example of positive partnership working that will achieve goals for both operator and local authority, but will ultimately be of benefit to the passenger. Central to its success will be the commitment of the partners to making real changes to improving conditions for buses in Scotland, and contributing to authorities' transport and wider policy objectives.
We would like to thank the consultants commissioned to prepare the guidance and all of the industry stakeholders, including bus industry representatives, local authorities, RTPs and COSLA who have been involved in the process of producing this guidance, including in particular Dundee City Council who worked closely in the project while introducing a BPIP in their area.
We trust that key practitioners within local government and the bus industry will find the material helpful.