Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport, Councillor Rob Humby, welcomed First Bus UK’s management team, Giles Fearnley, Managing Director FirstGroup UK Bus, Marc Reddy Managing Director First Hampshire, Dorset & Berkshire, and James Timperley, Retail Development Director FirstGroup UK Bus, earlier this week to hear about how bus travel could continue to improve in Hampshire.
Councillor Humby explained: “I was very pleased to have the opportunity to hear more about First’s plans and commitment to continually improve bus journeys for people in Hampshire.
“Together, we’ve invested in technology to improve bus travel for everyone, including contactless payments, on board Wi-Fi, next stop announcements and real time information. This approach has proved successful so far, with bus use in Hampshire close to a 20 year high, and 87% of journeys made on fully commercial services
“Our partnership with First on the Eclipse Bus Rapid Transit route in Gosport and Fareham is a perfect example of what can be achieved by working together. More than 20% of passengers now using the Eclipse service previously made their journeys by car. We heard recently we were successful in a bid for Government funds to construct an extension to the BRT route, and look forward to building on the success of the first phase.
“With public transport at this standard, where people can expect reliable journey times and comfortable, convenient travel, we have a truly viable alternative to the car. More people travelling by bus helps reduce congestion on the roads and improves air quality in our city centres, keeping the county moving and supporting Hampshire’s quality of life.
We now need to work together to mitigate the impact of reduced revenue funding available from the County Council for bus subsidies, to ensure that good public transport coverage remains across the county for everyone. I’ll be inviting senior bus company representatives to meet me early in the New Year to work through what we can do together to achieve this.”