10 October 2023

Getting better for fewer passengers

Catching up in news stories from the last few weeks

Improvements to Plymouth’s bus network will see better lighting and waiting facilities at bus stops. It is all part of plans to make the bus network across the city more desirable. The latest Bus Improvement Plan aims to deliver bus services that 'people need, can be proud of and enjoy using'. The vision is to create a thriving bus network with services that are frequent, reliable, fast, affordable, safe and clean, which will also help Plymouth to achieve its net zero goals by 2030

And as part of the plan, commitments to make buses a safer place for passengers are being made. It comes as the VAWG Commission also found that only 13 per cent of respondents felt very or fairly safe when out after dark. The Commission also heard evidence that women did not feel safe at bus stops and walking between locations and bus stops in the dark, “in terms of safety at night, it is often impossible to book a taxi home. Public transport cannot be relied on either”.


Compare it to this news article back in March 2022

Plymouth City Council is set to remove 211 bus shelters from the city's streets as part of a cost cutting exercise - but Plymouth MP Luke Pollard has criticised the move, saying women and girls 'must feel safe while waiting for a bus'. Mr Pollard, Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport raised the issue in Parliament on Thursday asked the Transport Minister if they agree with him that Plymouth's council 'must stop and consider the impact this will have on people waiting for a bus'.

In a statement issued following a request by PlymouthLive, Plymouth City Council has explained that as of next week the process for removing 211 bus shelters will begin. They note that the shelters "are not owned by the Council" but it does have a contract with the current operator that maintains and cleans them to an agreed standard.

The contract was due to expire in 2020 and a retendering exercise began in 2019. It had to be delayed due to Covid-19 so the contract with the existing operator was extended to September 2022.

The council has confirmed that the bus shelter removal programme will get underway from Tuesday March 22. It will see the number of shelters reduced from 626 to 415.

Cllr Jonathan Drean, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: "The decision to remove shelters has not been made lightly. In an ideal world most of them would be retained but unfortunately the associated costs mean this is not a viable option for potential shelter providers and I am not prepared for those costs to fall on local council tax payers.

"Every shelter that is being removed but is still served by a bus will be replaced with a stop, so there will be no loss of boarding opportunities for the travelling public. This means passengers can still catch their bus from the same location as they always have.

"Unfortunately, if we are to provide and maintain new, high quality shelters for bus passengers at as many sites as possible, we need to reduce the total number. It was known that this would mean a loss of around a third of shelters back in 2019.


So end result – better safer bus stops – for fewer people.

Meanwhile at the top of Keswick Crescent we now have this

bus stop shelter is no more

Not a place where you want to be standing in the wind and the rain


  1. Disgruntled Voter / Bus User: Tony H27 March 2024 at 17:03

    What comedian / idiot decided it was a good idea to remove most of the bus shelters on the Leigham Estate? The estate being one of the highest and open in the Plymouth area! and regularly having to cater for heavy rain and strong winds!! As it is no longer going to be possible to wait for a bus or get off a bus and wait in the dry of a bus shelter we will actually find ourselves using the bus a lot less, if not at all - Safety of women and girls is obviously a concern but how is removing the bus shelters going to achieve this when anyone gets off a bus in the rain and has to try and run because there is nowhere shelter!!! - Its obviously ok for anyone who make's these decisions and probably drives everywhere polluting the planet from their home garage to a sheltered car park / garage. They probably do not use a bus and do not understand what bus passengers have to contend with!! What happens when a bus is late, or does not turn up and end up standing in the wind and rain for longer, get on the bus soaking wet, then sitting on possibly dry seats? Also, if you travel into Cornwall through Saltash there are new shelters with overhead, current information about bus times. Even in the small village of Tideford.

  2. I completely agree - it is a poor step backwards by the council.


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