2017 News Round-up
Posted: 16 February 2018
Our Convenor, John Bibby wrote to First York to express the Forum’s concern about members’ recent experiences with their services. The Managing Director of First York Marc Bichtemann and his Operating Manager attended the Forum’s January meeting to respond to the issues raised. It was a generally positive meeting and Marc agreed to look into a number of the points raised.
At our April AGM Rachael Maskell MP gave us an update on the Buses Bill (now the Buses Act) and the opportunities it will bring for York. We were also fortunate to have representatives from the Council’s Better Bus Fund Team and from First Bus, who dealt with a wide range of questions.
In June we held a special meeting at the University of York as part of the Festival of Ideas. This included a fascinating talk about the amazing transport system in our twin city of Munster and a presentation on Intelligent Transport Systems by Darren Capes, the Council’s Transport Systems Manager. Marc Bichtemann (Managing Director of First York) also joined us and answered questions about current bus issues.
Our September meeting was addressed by two speakers from City of York Council. Andrew Bradley (Sustainable Transport Manager) explained the Council’s previous bus strategy and sought the Forum’s views on a new strategy. Julian Ridge (Better Bus Fund Team) presented the local results of the National Bus Passenger Survey www.transportfocus.org.uk/research-publications/research/bus-passenger-survey/ undertaken by Transport Focus (the government watchdog for transport passengers). This produced some interesting findings including the number of discretionary users in York (8%) and the growth in patronage over the last five years (14%), against a general decline across the Yorkshire & Humber Region.
In November, we were very pleased to welcome Keith McNally – Chair of York’s Quality Bus Partnership (QBP), He explained that although the QBP was set up in 2001, it was not until 2011 that it was possible to achieve significant improvements through the various government funding sources such as the Better Bus Area Fund and Local Sustainable Transport Fund.