Tuesday 7 June 2016

Uno bus

The University of Northampton and Northamptonshire County Council are working together to help transform the provision of public and community transport across Northamptonshire.

The two institutions, working with partners, will be mapping out how people travel around the county – and then come up with solutions to make transport provision better co-ordinated, integrated and help the public pound go further.

A report on the progress of the Total Transport initiative will be heard by the county council’s cabinet committee on Tuesday 14 June.

In addition to local public bus services, the project will also look at improving community transport for people including hospital patients, the elderly and people with disabilities.

The pilot project, which has received £750,000 government funding, will see the partners draw up a business plan which will then be presented to the council’s cabinet in the autumn, for approval.

It’s anticipated a social enterprise could be created to co-ordinate the project, which would see any profits ploughed back into local communities.

The University is well-placed to help improve transport in the area as it runs its own bus service, Uno Buses.

Operated as a social enterprise, the routes covered by Uno Buses serve over two million passengers annually; linking the University campuses with the town centre, bus and rail stations; as well as services to Daventry, Milton Keynes and Bedford. All profits from the Uno Buses Northampton are invested back in to the University, providing capital for the University’s scholarships fund.

Terry Neville OBE, Chief Operating Officer of the University of Northampton, said: “The Total Transport project gives us a prime opportunity to make transport provision across the county more joined up, for the benefit of residents, the environment and the public purse.

“With 14,000 students, more than 2,000 staff and our very own bus service, the University has the potential to effect positive change in the way we travel around the county, and we’re delighted to be adding our expertise to the project.”

Cllr Ian Morris, county council cabinet member for transport, highways and environment, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the University of Northampton at looking at how we could improve transport services for everyone in the county, while at the same time reducing costs.

“The traditional model of providing public transport has been in place for years and a review is long overdue so that it matches the way people want to make journeys now and in the future.”

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