Freedom to create an integrated public transport system

The Devolution Deal provides the opportunity to develop and deliver one public transport system for Cornwall.

This will see the integration of routes, timetabling and ticketing for all local bus, ferry and rail services under one identifiable brand which, combined with infrastructure improvements, will provide a consistent level of service based on the needs of the customers.  By significantly improving the service to both existing passengers and non-users we will improve the appeal of public transport, drive up patronage on bus and rail and bring about an upturn in revenue to make the network as a whole more financially viable in the future.

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Under the Deal the Government has agreed to devolve central funding on local transport which will deliver around £50m to help deliver these changes.  It also includes the offer of new bus franchising powers which will enable us to specify what services we want to have and when they will run.  We are already talking to bus operators about the changes we want to see and, while we will be keeping the franchising powers in reserve to use if we need them, we are optimistic that we will be able to develop the new system through partnership and co-operation.

We are currently working with partners to design a single integrated public transport network and agree the new standards for services, vehicles, infrastructure and ticketing. These proposals will be submitted to Government in a business case.

We are also working with the Department for Transport, Network Rail and Great Western Railway on the planned improvements to the rail network.  These include an upgraded sleeper service, enhanced signalling which will allow a new half hourly service on the mainline and improved rolling stock.  The aim is to combine the improvements to rail and bus services to achieve one public transport system for Cornwall in December 2018.

Richard Stevens, Managing Director of GoCornwallBus said: "We are delighted to be working through partnership with Cornwall Council to achieve its strategic objectives for public transport; which, in turn, forms a fundamental element of the overall devolution plan for Cornwall and its successful implementation."

Alex Carter, Managing Director of First South West said: "First Kernow is fully supportive of the devolution deal for Cornwall. As a locally managed bus business in PLC ownership, we fully understand and appreciate the differing needs of communities and their travel needs. In this respect each market is very different.  We enjoy an excellent relationship with our Cornwall Council stakeholder colleagues and we look forward to building on that through the development of a formal partnership approach between the Council, bus providers and other related stakeholders, to deliver a first class public transport system for Cornwall. As the principal operator of both bus and rail services in the county, there is great opportunity to improve integration of these two modes to help make public transport a real mode of choice for Cornwall’s residents and visitors."