Local transport plans have been put onto a statutory basis for the first time. LTPs will now become the main vehicle for delivering transport plans, taking responsibility away from regional planning bodies.
The Bill provides new powers for local authorities to set up QP schemes through which the local authority provides bus priority schemes in return for higher standard, more environmentally friendly vehicles from operators. Voluntary quality partnerships were said to exist in 100 towns. New quality partnerships would be enforceable by law. QPs must be in place for at least five years.
Local authorities will be able to impose quality contracts where it is clearly the 'only way to implement their bus strategy', subject to central Government approval. Arrangements will be the same as a QP but the operator will have exclusive rights to provide services. QCs are not valid for 21 months after the deal is struck. This will allow operators losing their right to operate time to adjust and redeploy assets.
Ticketing and information
The Bill will give local authorities the power to enforce inter-ticketing of rival bus operators.