HC Deb 25 June 1997 vol 296 c520W
Mr. Pike

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what steps he is taking to pursue his commitment to the proper regulation of buses. [5632]

Dr. Strang

As part of the fundamental review of transport policy announced by my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister on 5 June at column226. I announced in a speech to the Confederation of Passenger Transport earlier today a wide ranging bus review. Its purpose is to examine how buses can best play their part in an integrated transport policy. Our aim is to see increased use of the bus as a means of reducing congestion and pollution, particularly by attracting motorists from their cars.

The review will look at all aspects of buses including: the scope for more effective use of bus priority measures, coupled as necessary with traffic restraint; better arrangements for passenger information and ticketing, including inter-modal travel; and regulatory and other measures to improve the quality of bus services, notably through the "quality partnership" approach between operators and local authorities. In addition, it will address financial issues such as costs and support for the industry.

I intend to consult fully with the industry, local authorities, bus users and other interest groups, building on the joint work that has previously been done in this area. The results of the review will form part of the proposed White Paper next Spring on integrated transport policy.