Residents’ satisfaction with all aspects of local highway and transport services in Bournemouth and Poole has scored highly in a national survey.
Out of 86 local authorities taking part in the National Highways and Transport Public Satisfaction survey, Borough of Poole came 5th overall in general public satisfaction and was ranked the second best performing unitary authority in the country. Both Bournemouth and Poole came out on top for best performing authorities overall in the South West with Poole taking first place and Bournemouth second.
Bournemouth ranked as the second top performing town in the country for providing local bus travel, placing the council ahead of Transport for London when it comes to public satisfaction with public transport services.
Councillor Mike Greene, Cabinet Member for Transportation Services, Bournemouth Borough Council said: “Reducing congestion and keeping the town moving safely is a top priority for Bournemouth.
“Through additional government funding we have delivered the area’s largest ever transport programme to give people easier and safer options on how they travel in around Bournemouth.
“We are particularly delighted that public satisfaction with local bus services is ranked higher in the Bournemouth area than Transport for London. We have invested significantly in major local infrastructure to improve travel for bus users, including upgrading over 40 bus stops with new high specification shelters, adding over 100 new real time information signs and funding LED lights for nearly 200 buses to improve security for staff and passengers.”
59% of local people were satisfied with Poole’s local provision of its transportation related service, which includes the condition of roads and footpaths to the quality of local bus services, equal highest satisfaction in the country.
Accessibility to essential services, public transport provision, cycle and walking facilities, highway maintenance and street lighting were all rated by local residents. In addition road safety, reducing congestion and bus provision were all considered important services.
Julian McLaughlin, Head of Transportation Services at Borough of Poole, said: “This public survey is really important as it enables us to listen to the views of our residents and helps us develop our services further.
“As a result of this latest feedback we are planning to provide more funds towards improving road safety in the borough. We are also negotiating with bus and taxi operators to improve their service and our work in improving sustainable travel in Poole is having a positive effect as more people choose to use buses, walk and cycle.”
Poole has the highest growth in bus passenger journeys in the UK. Poole buses carried over 10.2 million passengers in 12 months in 2014/15, almost doubling the number of journeys since 2004/5. This has been achieved through a successful partnership with Bournemouth Borough Council and local bus operators Go South Coast and Yellow Buses with a common aim to improve local bus travel.
Councillor Drew Mellor, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transportation, Borough of Poole, said: “These results demonstrate that despite having funding challenges, we deliver a really good service to our residents. It is a testament to the dedication of our staff and on how we deliver our services with customer needs in mind.
“We work in partnership with bus operators and neighbouring authorities to make bus travel easier and convenient for more people. The significant investment made by the bus operators and council in recent years has provided real benefit to bus passengers and buses are becoming an increasingly attractive form of transport in the area. The bus service has never been better with real time information apps, usb chargers, wifi and investment in bus shelters, now is the perfect time to consider using buses.”
Andrew Wickham, managing director of morebus, added: “I’m delighted these latest figures show Bournemouth and Poole outperformed most regions across the country.
“At morebus, we are always looking for ways to improve the services we offer to local people. We were among the first to offer free WiFi and on-board USB charging points for passengers travelling with us.
“And our recent investment in new vehicles cements our commitment to providing high quality services across the region.
“We work in close partnership with our local authority partners to help ensure comprehensive bus routes in and around the town. And our commercially-driven approach is helping to achieve this.”
Andrew Smith, Managing Director of Yellow Buses, said “Our focus is solely and entirely on the South East Dorset conurbation and with our long standing history as part of the local communities we are proud to share in and contribute to successful partnerships like this which improve the quality of life for everyone living and working in the area; it’s positive that we have made it even easier for everyone to get on board.”