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Enhanced Partnership (for local bus services)

National Bus Strategy

In March 2021, the Government launched the National Bus Strategy (Bus Back Better), which set out an ambitious vision to dramatically improve bus services in England. It aimed to improve services through greater local leadership, reverse recent trends and encourage passengers back to bus services - assisting towards the Carbon Zero agenda and levelling up of the country.

Local Transport Authorities (LTAs) and local bus operators were required to set up Enhanced Partnerships or franchises by April 2022, including the development and publication of a Bus Services Improvement Plan (BSIP) and establishing partnership schemes.

Through the Enhanced Partnership, we would look to establish a fully-integrated service with simple, multi-modal tickets, more bus priority measures, high-quality information for all passengers in more places and enhanced frequencies with evening and weekend services.

The key milestones set out in the National Bus Strategy were:

  1. To commit to establishing an Enhanced Partnership (or franchising process) by the end of June 2021
  2. Publish our Bus Services Improvement Plan (BSIP) by the end of October 2021
  3. Establish our Enhanced Partnership by April 2022

Having met all these historical milestones, you can find details of West Berkshire's Enhanced Partnership and Bus Services Improvement Plan on this webpage.


Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) and target progress

Our revised Icon for pdf Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) 2023 [2MB]  was published in November 2023. 

Our revised published Icon for pdf Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) 2022 [4MB]  was submitted to the Department for Transport (DfT) in October 2022. 

Our original published Icon for pdf Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) 2021 [3MB]  was submitted to the Department for Transport (DfT) in October 2021 and local bus operators signified their support:

West Berkshire Council will publish reports every six months outlining progress towards the targets outlined in our Bus Service Improvement Plan:

West Berkshire Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme

As part of setting up the Enhanced Partnership and BSIP in 2021/22, various statutory notices were issued and consultation and objection periods were followed. You can view details of these in the downloads section.  

After a decision of West Berkshire Council's Executive Board on 24 March 2022, West Berkshire made a modified Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme with effect from 1 April 2022.  The Icon for pdf West Berkshire Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme [790KB]  details how the improvements in the BSIP will be implemented by the Council and bus operators in West Berkshire. 

The Icon for pdf West Berkshire Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme [790KB]  takes account of any changes made under the detailed variation mechanism, in accordance with decisions taken at Enhanced Partnership Forum Meetings.  


Enhanced Partnership Forums Meetings 

Please note that the next Forum is proposed for 1.30pm on Thursday 29 February 2024 at Shaw House, Church Road, Newbury, RG14 2DR. If you would like to find out more information, please email  

West Berkshire Bus Passenger Charter 

The Council has been working with the local bus operators to launch The West Berkshire Bus Passenger Charter.

The new charter sets out what the local authority and bus operators will improve and what is also expected from passengers. 

The charter covers bus services operated in West Berkshire. 

Local bus operators still have their own independent passenger charters. 

Local Bus Network Review 

The Department for Transport (DfT) asked local authorities to complete network reviews as a condition of receiving recovery funding through the Local Transport Fund (LTF) or the Bus Recovery Grant (BRG).

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