Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Bid to get Southampton buses to run on time

A partnership has been set up in Southampton to try to improve the punctuality of buses in the city.

Southampton City Council and bus operators have formed the Bus Punctuality Task Force in an effort to get more people using public transport.

The council said currently about 70% of buses in the city were "on time" - from one minute early to six minutes late.

National guidelines say towns and cities should aim for 95% of buses to be on time.

Among the improvements being considered by the task force are smartcard-compatible ticket machines, customer service training and investment in vehicles to minimise boarding times.

The council has already pledged to improve infrastructure such as shelters, consider bus operators when managing road works and enforce bus lanes.

Alex Carter, managing director of Go South Coast, which operates a range of routes across the south, including Southampton's Uni-link network, said: "The bottom line is we can do much more by working together than we can individually.

"With the increased pressure on our network, it is becoming more important that we do what we can to get buses moving through the city and into the centre without getting held up in traffic."

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