Specially trained officers will patrol buses and bus stations in Lancashire as part of a new pilot scheme to help stamp out anti-social behaviour on public transport.
Lancashire County Council has welcomed the news announced this week that it is just one of 4 areas in England chosen to take part.
The council will receive over £525k from the Department for Transport to recruit and employ Transport Safety Officers until the end of March 2025.
The council will be working closely with Lancashire Constabulary, transport operators, and Community Safety Partnerships to put the scheme in place.
County Councillor Rupert Swarbrick, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport said: “We’re investing £39m through our Bus Service Improvement Plan to make Lancashire’s buses more frequent, reliable and affordable, but making sure everyone feels safe is also crucial to attracting more people to use the bus for regular journeys.
“Transport Safety Officers will make a real difference in tackling and deterring anti-social behaviour across our transport network. By providing a visible presence they will reassure passengers that we will not tolerate anti-social behaviour on our bus network.
“I look forward to working closely with our transport and police partners to recruit and deploy these officers where they’re most needed, and ensure they make the biggest possible impact in helping everyone feel safe while using the bus.”
The programme aims to help passengers feel safer when using public transport, to make it easier to report issues, to improve how anti-social behaviour is tackled by partners, and to strengthen collaboration between councils, police and transport operators.
The government has provided funding for Lancashire’s Bus Service Improvement Plan and the Transport Safety Officers pilot via the Department for Transport. To find out more search ‘bus service improvement plan’ at lancashire.gov.uk.