To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions she has had with local authorities on maintaining and extending the provision of free or subsidised bus shelters funded by advertising companies; and what assessment her Department has made of the role of well-positioned, well-maintained bus shelters in encouraging passengers to make use of local bus services.
There have been no discussions between this Department and local authorities on the specific issue of maintaining and extending the provision of free or subsidised bus shelters funded by advertising companies.
However, waiting for a bus, train or tram is accepted as part of a public transport journey so infrastructure provision at the point of boarding or alighting will affect user experience and demand. The physical waiting environment includes shelters, vehicle access, information provision, and the safety and security of the location.
The Department has commissioned a detailed research project into a wide spectrum of factors that influence bus patronage, with particular reference to 'softer' factors, including the quality of the waiting environment, and the perceived safety of the walk to that point.
The results are due by the end of this year, and will be used to inform operators and local authorities about the most effective packages of measures to increase patronage, including what value passengers place on the waiting or interchange environment.