Suffolk Enhanced Partnership

Enhanced Partnership

What is the Enhanced Partnership?

The Enhanced Partnership (EP) is a statutory partnership between one or more Local Transport Authorities and their local bus operators that sets out how they will work together to deliver Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) outcomes in the defined geographical area(s) set out in the EP Enhanced Partnership. It is in two parts:  

  1. An EP Plan – a clear vision of the improvements to bus services that the EP Enhanced Partnership is aiming to deliver, mirroring the Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP).
  2. One or more EP schemes – an accompanying document that sets out the requirements that need to be met by local services that stop in the geographical area defined in the EP scheme, to achieve BSIP outcomes

A stakeholder consultation was undertaken to hear from people and organisations who have an interest in making bus services work better.
Funding announcement provided by DfT on the 4 April 2022

The creation of Suffolk’s Enhanced Partnership

In March 2021, the Government launched the National Bus Strategy with the aim of rejuvenating local bus services.

At its Cabinet meeting on 15 June 2021, Suffolk County Council gave approval to proceed with the development of an Enhanced Partnership.

In October 2021 the Bus Service Improvement Plan was published, describing our ambition for bus services across the County.

From December 2021to January 2022 the Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme was subject to a 28 day bus operator objection period, during which no objections were received.

A stakeholder consultation was held between 24 January – 6 March 2022 to capture views and comments. Comments submitted were reviewed and new proposals added to our list of potential interventions. There were no views or comments which warranted a material change to the initial version of the Enhanced Partnership document.

The Enhanced Partnership document was presented and approved at the 29 March 2022 Cabinet meeting. The first meeting of the Enhanced Partnership Board took place on 29 April 2022.

Suffolk’s Enhanced Partnership vision

The Suffolk Enhanced Partnership will support the improvement of all local bus services operating in the Suffolk County Council (SCC) Local Transport Authority (LTA) area and neighbouring LTA areas where services are cross-boundary. The Enhanced Partnership includes commitments for SCC and all local bus operators to work together to improve local bus services. It includes a vision of the improvements that the partnership is aiming for and accompanying actions to achieve them.

The Enhanced Partnership is focused on delivering a future ready bus network – through working in close collaboration with valued stakeholders representing local bus operators, local authorities, communities and businesses, bus passengers and bus user groups, and the voluntary and health transport sectors. The preparation of our Bus Service Improvement Plan was the first stage in this partnership process and the Suffolk Enhanced Partnership plan replicates content from this to highlight how the step change in bus services required to achieve the objectives of the National Bus Strategy can be delivered.

Targets were set covering the whole county, all of which rely on partnership between Suffolk County Council and local bus operators to improve:

  • Journey time
  • Reliability
  • Passenger numbers
  • Passenger satisfaction

Suffolk’s Passenger Charter

The purpose of Suffolk’s Passenger Charter is to improve bus services across Norfolk and Suffolk. It establishes a consistent standard for bus services to meet, regardless of bus company or county. It also aims to improve the way you can hold us to account.

Enhanced Partnership board and forum meetings

Regular Enhanced Partnership board and working group meeting minutes are uploaded and available to download

Bus service improvements

The Partnership will look to provide a stronger commercially viable bus network across both rural and urban Suffolk. The interventions will increase the numbers of people using buses and support the decarbonisation agenda. Interventions will need to be managed within the budget allocated. 

Let us know what you think by submitting your ideas and views to bus.strategy@suffolk.gov.uk explaining the proposal and why it is felt it is commercially viable. 


Further information

Below you can find a list of documents that are relevant to the Bus Back Better Strategy:

The DfT has published the national bus strategy 

Bus Service Improvement Plan Guidance 

Enhanced Partnership Guidance 

The Transport Act 2000 

Transport Focus link 

Report issues related to bus infrastructure in Suffolk 

Report issues related to the highways in Suffolk 

Last updated on 12 November 2023

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