This is draft guidance, and we welcome your feedback

The Public Transport Design Guidance supports road controlling authorities – regional and local councils, and public transport contracting authorities and consultants to deliver consistent and user-centric public transport infrastructure.

The public transport priority and optimisation topic within the guidance sets out the tools needed to plan, design, implement and monitor street-based public transport priority and optimisation.

Draft guidance document

This guidance will be useful for:

  • planning and delivering public transport services
  • the design and operation of the street network
  • communicating the benefits of public transport infrastructure projects to the public
  • finding ways to make public transport more attractive and drive growth in use.

Public transport design guidance: priority and optimisation [PDF, 6.8 MB]

What is public transport priority and optimisation?

Public transport priority involves placing public transport vehicles at an advantage compared with general traffic. For example, bus lanes and traffic signal priority for buses. Optimisation involves improving operational efficiency to support faster journey times without impacting other road users.

Benefits of priority and optimisation

Public transport services need to stop to pick up and drop off passengers, which takes time. Prioritising and optimising public transport services can help improve journey times and reliability, making public transport a more attractive choice. This can have flow on benefits for safety, public health, the environment, and economic prosperity.

Priority and optimisation for public transport can also improve efficiency and consistency. This is because shorter journey times means a bus or light rail vehicle can complete more trips an hour than if there was no priority and optimisation.

What does the guidance cover?

The guidance supports the delivery of efficient and reliable public transport services by listing the benefits of prioritising and optimising public transport, available interventions, ways to assess your options and some key design aspects to consider for interventions.

The guidance covers public transport priority and optimisation treatments, including:

  • Mid-block interventions like bus lanes and transit lanes.
  • Intersection interventions such as exemptions to restricted movements, signal priority, and priority at roundabouts.
  • Bus gates and traffic management interventions.
  • Service design interventions such as vehicle design, stops, operating policies and on street parking management.

This guidance also draws on the One Network Framework street classification system. This is to bring in considering the movement and place context alongside public transport classifications when developing plans to prioritise and optimise public transport.

One Network Framework