Transport for South Hampshire and Isle of Wight

Department for Transport's Better Bus Area Fund

Department for Transport's Better Bus Area Fund

Project Update - September 2012

In May an advert was placed in local and national publications inviting expressions of interest in funding for the delivery of: free on-board internet, LED lighting, internal bus refurbishments and next stop audio visual systems, on buses operating within the South Hampshire area.  

Following a review of the Expressions of Interest, we invited bids for each of these projects. We received five bids for free on-board internet, four bids for internal bus refurbishment and four bids for LED lighting.

For Next Stop Audio Visual systems we are providing three bidding opportunities.  Following the closing date of the first wave we received one application, which was funded in full.  The second wave closed on the 31 August and a further application was received and is currently being assessed.  A deadline for a final wave of applications for the delivery of Next Stop Audio Visual is being discussed with bus operators.

Progress todate is summarised in the table.


Capital Funding

Revenue Funding


free on-board internet

  • Available:£1m
  • Awarded:£0.94m
  • Available:£0.25m
  • Awarded:£0.30m

Funding has been awarded for the delivery of free on-board internet on 565 buses.  This is 94% of the South Hampshire bus fleet.

To date free on-board internet is operational on 397 buses.

The additional revenue required to fund the applications has been transferred from the BBAF marketing budget.

Internal bus refurbishment

  • Available:£0.43m
  • Awarded:£0.40m
  • n/a
Funding has been awarded for the internal refurbishment of 137 buses.

To date 4 buses have been refurbished.

Internal LED lighting

  • Available:£0.53m
  • Awarded:£0.56m
  • n/a

Funding has been awarded for the delivery of internal LED lighting on 481 buses in South Hampshire.

To date LED lighting has been installed on 12 buses.

The additional capital required to fund the applications has been drawn from the under-spend in the free on-board internet capital budget.

Next stop audio-visual systems

  • Available:£0.96m
  • Awarded:£0.05m
  • Available:£0.9m
  • Awarded:none

Funding has been awarded for the delivery of next stop audio visual systems on 18 buses.

Progress update on other elements of the project

Customer service training and charter

This is being developed on behalf of South Hampshire Bus Operators Association (SHBOA) by First Bus.


To date two apprentices have been recruited.


The following projects have been funded:

  • Solent Travel Card – This involves a refresh of the Solent Travel Card marketing literature
  • Expression of Interest Adverts
  • SCC Legible Bus Network
  • Free on-board internet stickers.

Brockhurst Roundabout

This project will provide the following:

  • a bus lane on the A32 southbound approach to the Brockhurst Roundabouts

  • a bus lane on Rowner Road and between the roundabouts (subject to a safety audit)

  • provision of a shared use foot/cycle facility on the north side of Rowner Road

  • use of the existing toucan crossings on the A32 to provide vehicle detection to assist buses leaving Elson Road and Rowner Road.

Work has progressed to Preliminary Design level. As part of the ongoing design work data has been collected in the form of traffic counts, pavement cores, accident figures, and  tree surveys. A geotechnical desk study has also been undertaken.  In addition tests have been carried out on the toucan crossings to confirm the viability of using them to help prioritise buses.  

The Road Safety Audit identified the proposed three lane entry from Rowner Road as high risk for pedestrians and cyclists crossing the road.  As less than 10% of traffic turns left out of Rowner Road, and an additional lane would entail the felling of a row of Lime trees it has been decided that the proposed additional lane on Rowner Road will not now be included in the scheme, but the footway would be widened to accommodate cyclists, therefore reducing significantly the bus/cycle conflict on the road. The removal of the additional lane on Rowner Road has reduced the scope and cost of the overall scheme.

The Preliminary Design for the scheme is complete and the Preliminary Design Report has been drafted and reviewed internally, it is currently undergoing Client review.

The revised cost estimate for the scheme, excluding feasibility work but including for 5 years' maintenance, is £777,078.  The spend to 13 August 2012, is just under £21,000.

It is proposed that the under-spend of £322,922 is used to fund similar BRT works on the A32 south of the improvement to the Brockhurst roundabouts to further assist in providing bus priority along this heavily congested strategic corridor.  This is subject to approval by the BBAF Steering Group.

Bus Information Smart App

It is unlikely that we will deliver this element of the project as ‘Apps’ have become available that provide a similar service.  We will recycle this funding into other areas of the BBAF project.

NFC Tags

We have decided to delay on the delivery of this element of the project to ensure that the information provided by the NFC Tags link to Real Time Information that will be provided by the TfSH Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) project.


Department for Transport's Better Bus Area Fund

In March 2012 TfSH was awarded £4.5m from the Department for Transport's Better Bus Area Fund.

This project will see TfSH working with the South Hampshire Bus Operators Association (SHBOA) to deliver a package of measures, which together aim to:

  • raise the quality of bus travel
  • change perceptions of the bus
  • achieve outcome of an 8% increase in bus usage
  • achieve a 5.6% increase in public transport mode share and 4,205 fewer tonnes of carbon emitted.

We will achieve this through addressing features of bus travel that act as barriers to attracting new users and by providing facilities that will make bus travel a comparatively better option to the private car.  All interventions will be delivered by end of March 2014.

Free on-bus internet

Funding for the provision of free on-bus internet has been awarded to all those operators who applied. In total 565 buses will be fitted with free on-bus internet. Details will be published on this website in due course.

Bus Refurbishments

Funding for the bus refurbishment has been awarded to all those operators who applied.  In total 137 buses across South Hampshire are to be refurbished.

LED Lighting

Funding for the provision of internal LED lighting has been awarded to all those operators who applied.  LED lighting will be installed on 481 buses across South Hampshire.

"Next Stop" audio/visual on-board announcements

The fist round of bidding has closed, and Black Velvet Travel has been awarded funding.

TfSH is inviting a further round of bids for Next Stop Audio Visual Systems on buses. The deadline for bids is Friday 31 August 2012.  

Eligible bus companies have been contacted about this,but interested parties should please contact Stuart Baker