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Leicester Buses Enhanced Partnership: a model for delivery

Partners have delivered 75 key goals and are on track to deliver all 100 by May 2024

29 August 2023


Leicester City Council, Arriva, Centrebus, FirstBus, Kinchbus, Roberts Travel and Stagecoach formed the Leicester Buses Enhanced Partnership in May 2022. Its aim is to make bus travel electric, frequent, reliable, easy and great value. The partnership is legally committed to 100 goals over a 3-year period.

In May this year, the partnership partnership celebrated its first year of progress.

By August, the partners announced that they already delivered 75 goals and are on track to deliver the rest by May 2024. 

dedicated website details this progress.

On 6-7 November 2023, Leicester City Council and Bus Centre of Excellence, working with Landor LINKS, will host Quality Bus: supporting generation bus, with site visits & bus tours on 6 Nov and a full conference programme on 7 Nov. Reserve your place now!  

Please note that event partner Bus Centre of Excellence (BCoE) will be funding a limited number of spaces to attend the Quality Bus event this year on a first-come, first-served basis. They will however be prioritising local authorities and there will be a maximum of two free tickets per organisation. If you would like a space, please reach out to BCoE directly at


Delivered so far

  • Greenlines electric network: 24 electric buses on six subsidised services now operating from 2 new charging depots at Roberts and Centrebus, including three park and rides, inner and outer orbital and hospital service.

  • FirstBus electric buses: Fully converted depot to electric operation, with all 68 single decks phased to Sept 2023 and all 18 deckers ordered for introduction next May. Funding through ZEBRA City Council application.

  • Arriva electric buses: 24 double decker buses ordered, to be in service by November 2023.

  • Optimised network: Co-ordinated timetables and routes between operators, removing inefficient duplication and simplifying for customers. Formal legal partnerships on 9 shared bus corridors. 

  • New city centre connection service: Free, every 10 minutes connecting all areas to bus and rail stations

  • Significant bus lanes: On Abbey Park Road (both ways), Braunstone Gate, Anstey Lane, Groby Road, Abbey Lane (part), Melton Road, Fosse Road North and London Road (permanent red route), all camera enforced. 

  • New bus city centre Savoy Street bus link: Improving central area journey times and reliability.

  • New St Margarets bus and coach station: 24 bays, solar powered. Direct link to inner Ring Rd reducing journey times by upto 4 minutes.

  • Totems at 1,200 stops: With real-time information displays and text-to-speech audio facility. 

  • New bus shelters at 500 stops: With lighting, seats and some with ‘living’ roofs.

  • Unified ‘Leicester Buses’: Network branding at bus stations, guides, operator’s fleet, bus stops/shelters. 

  • Integrated website: Partnership plan updates, information and ticketing channels.

  • Contactless tap-on tap-off ticketing with single-operator and multi-operator capping: First of its kind in UK. Flexible, easy, best value travel, regardless of which bus operator(s) used. Significantly expanded range of multi-operator tickets, all with reduced fares premium.

  • Discount ticketing: For eligible scholars, unemployed, elderly, those with disabilities and health workers.

Results so far

  • Patronage aim: 90% pre-Covid levels by March 2025. Currently at 85% and rising. June 2023 Firstbus patronage up 23.4% on June 2022.
  • Network optimisation: Reduced operating miles to 83% of pre-covid levels, giving a more commercially sustainable network but with no significant decline in frequency. 

  • Punctuality improved from 76% to 86%: Transport Focus punctuality satisfaction 65% (2019/20), 74% (Feb/Mar 2023).

  • Groby Road bus priority scheme: 6% reduction in overall journey times, 30% reduction in peak variance.

  • Abbey Park Road bus priority scheme: 3 minutes time saving in both am and pm peaks.

  • Braunstone Gate bus priority scheme: 3 minutes time saving in peak am inbound, 4 minutes in peak pm inbound, 1 minute peak saving AM and PM outbound.

  • Carbon reduction: By December 2023, 116 electric buses will be in operation from four charging depots, saving over 5,084 tonnes of CO2pa. Half of all routes will be electric by May 2024.

  • Multi-operator annual journeys: Up by 150% since 2019/20 from 1.8 million (£2.84m) to 4.5 million (£5.6m). 

  • Value for money satisfaction from 57% to 73% since 2019: Reduction in multi-operator fares premium from over 25% to 10% (fares levels mean only marginal benefit from national £2 fare).

  • New Hop free electric city centre bus service: 100,000 trips in first 5 months, now at around 1000/day. 59% of users connect to commercial services.

  • The electric Hospital Hopper: Average weekly usage increase by 25% from 11,100 trips pre-covid to 13,929 in March 2023.

  • Monthly visits to the Leicester Bus Partnership webiste: 3,800 March 2022 to 68,000 March 2023. 

Coming up next year

  • Over the next year the following are well on track to be delivered

  • Nearly 100 more electric buses on Firstbus, Arriva and Stagecoach routes

  • Completion of real time stop totems are all stops in the Flexi area – Greater Leicester

  • Camera enforced bus lanes on Abbey Lane, subject to consultation

  • Signalised junction priority to late running buses 

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