Quality Partnership arrangements – Bus Services Act 2017
Following the publication of the National Bus Strategy on 15 March 2021 the government required all Local Transport Authorities and bus operators to sign up to the development of an Enhanced Partnership by 1 July 2021 to access Government funding for bus service and bus infrastructure improvements.
Members approved the development and implementation of two Enhanced Partnerships at Transport and Environment Committee on 15 June 2021.
- The Greater Nottingham Enhanced Partnership covers Nottingham City Council’s administrative area and Nottinghamshire County Council’s administrative area that extends as far as the Robinhood Network boundary.
- The Nottinghamshire Enhanced Partnership covers Nottinghamshire County Council’s administrative area excluding the Robinhood Network area.
The Enhanced Partnerships supersede the current Quality Partnership agreements in place with operators which are outlined below.
As required under the Bus Services Act 2017 please find Nottinghamshire County Council’s Notice of Intent to implement an Enhanced Partnership.
The Enhanced Partnership is formed of two elements:
- the Enhanced Partnership Plan - sets out a summarised version of the Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), providing the context for the proposed local bus service improvements
- the Enhanced Partnership Scheme - sets out in more detail how the plan objectives will be achieved through an agreed set of actions. Further schemes can be made as required to facilitate delivery of the Plan
Nottinghamshire Enhanced Partnership
As required under the legislation, the Council was required to consult stakeholders on the proposal to make the Plan and Scheme that will deliver the Bus Service Improvement Plan so that stakeholders views on the Plan and Scheme could be considered before it was finalised.
The Plan and Scheme is the legal framework to deliver the BSIP. This allows the Council and Operators to work together to deliver an improved bus network and bus infrastructure to meet Nottinghamshire residents’ priorities and meet the following BSIP objectives:
- Customer-informed approach to bus service provision to provide a comprehensive, simple network that is easy to understand and use.
- Provide robust measures and infrastructure to support bus efficiency, reliability and improve journey times by bus, making the bus an attractive proposition compared to the car.
- Provide a network which is affordable and offers good value for money.
- Develop a network which is integrated and offers more opportunities to travel for more residents of Nottinghamshire to access work, education, health, and leisure destinations.
- Provide a network and associated infrastructure which is attractive, comfortable, safe, and accessible to all.
- Work with partners to provide a coordinated approach to bus service delivery.
- Grow patronage and improve passenger satisfaction.
- Contribute to the council and government’s ambitions for decarbonisation and improving local air quality.
- Contribute towards the governments ‘Levelling up‘ agenda.
The Enhanced Partnership Scheme 1.0 involves:
- Implementing a Euro IV standard for buses across Nottinghamshire by 1 April 2025
- Memorialising current bus infrastructure and bus priority measures
- Retaining the operator standards and passenger facilities from the Mansfield quality partnership area
- A new passenger charter.
The Plan and Scheme will run for a minimum of five years from 6 June 2022.
The Enhanced Partnership Scheme sets out the obligations of both the Council and Operators of services, which are not Exempted Service as described in the Scheme document.
Operators of Local Bus Services in Nottinghamshire have already been consulted, and whilst one objection was tabled by Nottingham Minibuses & Coaches LTD this did not meet the requirements of the regulations and has therefore not been considered.
A further consultation with statutory stakeholders on the Plan and Scheme was launched on 1 March 2022. The consultation closed on the 21 March 2022.
There were only minor changes to the document following consultation and nothing substantive that required further consultation.
Following the completion of this consultation, the County Council presented the Plan and Scheme to Transport and Environment Committee on 4 May 2022 and it was approved to be 'made' on 6 June 2022.
Formal Notice of this decision is given:
Nottinghamshire County Council hereby give notice under section 138G(5) of the Transport Act 2000 (as amended), that the Enhanced Partnership has been Made on 6 June 2022 and comes into effect on the same date. The Enhanced Partnership has been prepared in accordance with Section 138F of the Transport Act 2000 and has been consulted accordingly, it is made following consultation. The Enhanced Plan and Scheme can be viewed as outlined below; and applies to all bus operators operating within Nottinghamshire Council Council’s administrative area (excluding the Nottinghamshire Council Council’s administrative area contained within the Greater Nottingham Enhanced Partnership Area), unless specifically exempt under the terms of the Enhanced Partnership Scheme.
A copy of the Nottinghamshire Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme is available to view below:
Greater Nottingham Enhanced Partnership
A similar consultation was also carried out for the Greater Nottingham Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme, please use the link below.
Previous Quality Partnerships superseded on 6 June 2022
Quality Partnership Schemes are agreements between the council and local bus operators to improve the quality of services and facilities within the scheme area. These have been superseded by the Enhanced Partnerships.
Statutory Quality Bus Partnership Schemes
Previously there were two Statutory Quality Bus Partnership Schemes in Nottinghamshire.
Mansfield Statutory Quality Partnership
The scheme came into effect on 5 May 2013 and was superseded by the Nottinghamshire Enhanced Partnership on 6 June 2022.
Find out more about the Mansfield Statutory Quality Partnership [PDF]
Beeston Statutory Quality Partnership
The Scheme came into effect on 1 July 2015 and was superseded by the Greater Nottingham Enhanced Partnership on 6 June 2022.
Find out more about the Beeston Statutory Quality Partnership [PDF]
Voluntary Quality Bus Partnership Scheme
Worksop Voluntary Quality Bus Partnership Agreement
In October 2015 the council signed a Voluntary Quality Partnership Agreement with Stagecoach East Midlands. This covered bus services in Worksop but was superseded by the Nottinghamshire Enhanced Partnership on 6 June 2022.
- 15 June 2021: Transport and Environment Committee Report [PDF]
- 21 May 2015: Transport & Highways Committee Report [PDF]
- 9 January 2014: Transport & Highways Committee Report [PDF]
- 6 February 2013: Transport & Highways Committee Report [PDF]
- 4 May 2022: Transport and Environment Committee