BABUS (short for Bedford Area Bus Users’ Society) was founded in November 2005, and is one of a growing number of voluntary local bus user groups, operating across the country. Our aims are threefold;
- to represent the interests of bus users who either live, work or travel through the Bedford area
- to encourage people to use buses
- to act as a focal point between bus users, bus companies and local authorities
BABUS has an interest in all bus services operating in Bedford Borough, and most of Central Bedfordshire. BABUS is affiliated to Bus Users UK, the national watchdog for bus passengers, and liaises with several other groups which have areas bordering our own.
Members receive a Newsletter, usually every quarter, to keep you informed of our activities. If you have access to the Internet, either at home or at a library, café etc. you will be able to access our website, www.babus.org.uk This includes Bulletin Board, which keeps you updated between Newsletters.
You will also get invited to our Annual General Meeting, where we usually have a speaker from the transport industry. The glue holding together the group are our Volunteer Committee Members, who help to keep the Society going. Every little helps, if you feel like you can contribute to the Society!
BABUS is involved in lobbying for better bus services, user facilities, passenger information, such as;
- Redevelopment of bus stations to meet the needs of bus users,
- Integration between bus & rail services,
- Provision of bus shelters and timetable information,
- Expanding Park & Ride facilities,
- Easy access to buses,
- Improved services in rural areas,
- Real-time information on running times
BABUS works with its members and gets involved in bus related issues that concern you. So, what practical things do we do?
- We hold quarterly liaison meetings with Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire Council, Stagecoach and Grant Palmer to discuss passengers’ concerns and ways to improve bus services and passenger facilities in the area.
- We’ve been involved in discussions with Bedford Borough and the bus companies throughout the planning and building of the new Bedford Bus Station, to ensure that the facilities best meet the needs and aspirations of users. We have also provided volunteer assistance to help passengers find their way round during the rebuilding of the bus station.
- We monitor bus stops and information points, reporting where problems exist or out of date information is displayed.
- We regularly remind local authority planning departments of the need to ensure that the principal roads in new housing estates are wide enough for both resident parking and the free flow of buses. We also stress to councils and bus companies the need to provide bus services as soon as residents start to move in.
- With ongoing reductions in government funding, we endeavour in conjunction with local authorities, to make sure that no communities are left without some bus service to enable residents to access work, shops and medical facilities.