Bus services are essential for enabling people to get to work, to school, to the doctor’s or to hospital. While responsibility for delivering bus services rests with local transport authorities, the Government is committed to supporting local bus services.
Indeed, Ministers oversee the transfer of approximately £250 million of funding to support local bus services each year, £40 million of which goes towards protecting routes that are important for local people but that would otherwise be unavailable commercially. I also welcome the recent announcement that the Department for Transport will continue to safeguard the free bus pass for disabled and elderly people, with funding of around £1 billion annually.
In addition, the Government has set aside over £200 million since 2010 to replace and upgrade our buses, meaning over 5,000 environmentally cleaner and better buses on our roads.
Furthermore, the Bus Services Act (2017) gives local authorities powers to work more closely with operators to drive up the quality and consistency of bus services. It also gives powers to combined authorities with directly elected Mayors to franchise services, allowing them to take control of their services, as Transport for London does in London.