A review of local public transport provision in Renfrewshire will be carried out following concerns raised by Renfrewshire councillors about local bus service provision in the region.
Funding of £50,000 has been allocated by Renfrewshire Council to carry out the review which will place a particular focus on local and regional bus services but will also examine the rail network, including current and future park and ride facilities.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We know about the concerns of local residents about the gaps in some of the local public transport provision. Many of these services, particularly local bus services are vital connections for many people to work, leisure and social opportunities.
“This will be an important piece of work in identifying the most effective solutions to improve these connections and looking at ways to fill those gaps with the available powers and funding.
“We should always be looking to make our public transport network better and all options will be on the table to ensure our communities have the best possible access to public transport and in a way that encourages them to use it.
“Our Ren Zero ambitions mean we need to view things differently as we strive to reduce our emissions and ensuring we have a public transport system that is fit-for-purpose is one way that we can support people to leave the car at home and use alternative methods of transport.”
Consideration will be given to the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 which has introduced powers for councils as local transport authorities to provide their own bus services, allows franchising of rights to the most competitive bidder, and the creation of Bus Service Improvement Partnerships which would bring bus operators and Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) together to assess the provision.
The review feeds into Renfrewshire Plan for Net Zero as the area works towards reaching net zero emissions by 2030, with the public transport network relating to several of the plan’s five key themes – clean energy, sustainable transport, circular economy, connected communities and resilient place.
The plan commits to maximising sustainable transport opportunities to deliver an inclusive, affordable transport system that provides choice for all and prioritises active travel opportunities, increased public transport use, minimising of car miles, encouraging Ultra Low Emission Vehicles and alleviating transport poverty.
The Ren Zero campaign forms part of the Council’s leadership approach to provide the support and guidance that partners need to make radical, but necessary, changes in Renfrewshire.