Further removal of bus route duplication across operators in Leicester will be introduced on a two-year trial basis from April 2023. The step will remove 10 buses from the network, but is expected to speed journey times and improve timetables. It forms part of Leicester Bus Partnership work.
Leicester City Council (LCC) is leading the initiative, which involves certain services run by Arriva Midlands, Centrebus and First Leicester. It will see timetables co-ordinated to go with existing multi-operator ticketing. The change was approved by LCC in early December.
“The move will reduce the likelihood of buses arriving at the same time, causing unnecessary congestion and slowing down journey times,” the local authority says. “It will also give customers simplified and improved timetables across the day.”
Such a development is a further output of the city’s Bus Partnership, which is delivering simplified ticketing, service improvements and wholesale shift to zero-emission operation. One Arriva service, two from Centrebus and three First Leicester routes will be involved in the trial. Arriva and First have already removed duplication on two corridors, while Kinchbus has joined them in a similar exercise on services covering the Melton Road area.
Speaking about the work, Deputy City Mayor for Transportation, Clean Air and Climate Emergency Cllr Adam Clarke says: “The Leicester Bus Partnership means that the City Council and local bus operators are working jointly on investment and innovation [for] the city’s public transport system.
“As part of that, we have focused on where services are duplicating each other, causing congestion and confusing travellers. Evidence shows that reliability and journey speed is harmed by buses delaying themselves – basically, too many trying to serve the same routes at the same time.
“Working with companies to reduce duplication, this trial scheme means removing up to 10 diesel buses, speeding up journey times, lowering pollution and improving timetables across the day.”