LGA responds to additional bus funding

Cllr David Renard, Transport spokesperson for the Local Government Association, comments on the Government’s announcement of an additional £130 million of funding for bus operators to act as an extension of emergency support since the pandemic.

A girl sat on a bus looking out the window

“Buses play a vital role across the country – enabling people to shop, visit friends and family, get to work and access vital services, and for many people are a lifeline as they face the current cost of living crisis.

"The announcement of this extension to emergency funding is good news for councils as it will help keep critical local buses on the road in the short term and stop bus services in some areas slipping back into decline.

“However, if the Government wants to protect and grow bus travel, instead of emergency funding it should deliver on the commitments made in the National Bus Strategy. These include providing the £3 billion over three years for Bus Service Improvement Plans which have been produced by every local transport authority and local bus operators. So far, the Government has only delivered £1.1 billion of this, with more than half of council bids yet to receive funding.

“To avoid recurring funding emergencies and achieve the enormous social, economic, health and environmental benefits of a regular, reliable and affordable bus service in every part of the country the Government should give local authorities the long term and sufficient funds to deliver on their Bus Service Improvement Plans.”