LGA responds to the Bus Services Bill

LGA press release 12 October 2016

Responding to the Bus Services Bill's Report Stage debate in the House of Lords today (Wednesday), Cllr Martin Tett, LGA Transport spokesman, said:

"The Bill is a missed opportunity to improve bus provision throughout the country by giving all areas the automatic rights to franchising, rather than just those with directly-elected mayors, as is currently proposed. While the Bill simplifies the franchising process and introduces new opportunities for innovative partnerships, for example between councils and bus operators, it will not by itself overcome the major challenges facing most councils in their efforts to protect local bus provision. By having to apply to the Secretary of State, it could mean lengthy delays for councils.

"Councils are doing everything they can to support bus users and are having to dig deep to subsidise transport costs for their communities whilst protecting the provision of vital services like caring for the elderly, filling potholes and collecting bins.>

"Government should fully fund the concessionary fares scheme to protect the routes which act as a lifeline for vulnerable and non-driving residents to go shopping, pick up medication, attend doctor appointments or socialise with friends."

Notes to editors

The Bus Services Bill is due to have its Report Stage debate in the House of Lords on Wednesday 12 October (due to start at about 4pm). The LGA has briefed Peers ahead of the debate. Further information and briefings on the Bus Services Bill are available here. You can watch the session here

13 October 2016