Five Bus Rapid Transit projects could receive funding.

This month could witness a major breakthrough for Bus Rapid Transit in the UK, with the Department for Transport poised to announce its decision on whether to approve funding for five different schemes.

The five schemes are:

  • Leeds New Generation Transport – a trolleybus line through Leeds city centre;
  • North Fringe to Hengrove BRT (Bristol) – linking the north of the city (including Bristol Parkway) with Hengrove in the south;
  • Pennine Reach (East Lancs Rapid Transit) – bus enhancements in Blackburn and East Lancashire.
  • South Essex Rapid Transit – two separate BRT schemes, Southend and Grays-Basildon;
  • South Yorkshire BRT Phase 1 – from Sheffield toward Rotherham, including a new road link under the M1.

Dr Bob Tebb, chair of BRTuk, commented: “Hard on the heels of the opening of the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway – the best news for BRT in the UK for many a long year – comes the pleasure not only of hearing of approval for the Ashton Vale – Bristol Temple Meads BRT scheme announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, but a fairly confident expectation of progress too being announced shortly on a further five schemes. The Hampshire BRT scheme is also only a few months away from opening, with the Luton – Dunstable project hard on its heels.

“Has the message of the run-away success of Cambridgeshire finally opened the doors to funding more BRT schemes and on a large scale? There is no doubt that in these cash-strapped times, BRT offers fantastic value of money (that’s lots of value for relatively little money), and is showing how our congested cities can be got moving again quickly and easily.”

Tebb continued: “I certainly look forward to local authorities, operators, suppliers and consultants working together to achieve rapid progress with these schemes. BRTuk has been working hard to ensure close contact between these organisations, and is looking forward to helping provide information and advice over the coming months.

“The new BRT age in the UK is upon us – let us show just how effective it can be.”

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