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EP (Enhanced Partnership)

An Enhanced Partnership is an agreement between a local authority and the bus operators in its region, to deliver a joined-up network of bus services.

In the past, bus operators could operate as if their competitor operators didn’t exist. This makes catching the bus harder for those that do. By working more closely together, through an Enhanced Partnership managed by the local authority, the overall bus services are improved for everyone using them.

The first Enhanced Partnership in the UK was set up by Hertfordshire County Council’s Intalink in 2020. The National Bus Strategy, launched in March 2021, describes how all local authorities should adopt either an Enhanced Partnership or Franchising approach to managing their local bus networks.

Franchising is an alternative approach to Enhanced Partnerships, used in some areas of the United Kingdom such as Transport for London (and in future Greater Manchester).