Over £13 million delivered to improve and protect bus services in the East of England
Lifestyle / Thu 28th Sep 2023 at 03:39pm
RESIDENTS across the East of England will benefit from lower fares, improved reliability and better bus services as the Government delivers a further £13.6 million to support local buses into 2025.
Today (Thursday 28 September), Roads Minister Richard Holden has confirmed that eleven local authorities in the East of England will receive the second £13.6 million allocations of the Bus Service Improvement Plan+ (BSIP+) for 2024-25.
The funding follows the first £120.4 million BSIP+ and BSIP investments for the East of England for 2022 through to early 2025, taking the total government support to help improve bus services in the region to more than £134 million over three years.
From introducing new services, or enhancing existing ones in the weekends or evenings, or to making tickets cheaper through reduced fares for elderly or young people, local authorities can use the new BSIP+ allocations in several ways to improve bus services for all residents in the East of England.
Local authorities can also use the investment to protect bus services with low passenger numbers, so that residents in the East of England who rely on them for essential services can continue to access their local bus.
The new BSIP+ funding for the East of England is part of a wider £160 million investment to improve bus services across England from 2022 through to 2025.
It comes on top of a further £140 million announced in May from the extension of the Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG), taking the total to continue supporting and protecting bus services across England to £300 million into 2025.
To help people with cost of living pressures and save on everyday travel costs, the government has also invested £200 million to extend the bus fare cap, with single bus tickets capped at £2 outside London until the end of October 2023 and then at £2.50 until 30 November 2024.
The £2 fare cap has cut travel costs particularly in rural areas, where buses are crucial for so many people to get around, with the average fare dropping by 10.8% in rural and non-metropolitan parts of England.
These initiatives take total government support to protect and improve bus services while keeping fares low in England to £3.5 billion since 2020.
While it is the responsibility of bus operators and local transport authorities to ensure an adequate provision of bus routes, the Government continues to work closely with the sector to support local areas in dealing with changing travel patterns while managing pressures on the taxpayer.
In addition to the £3.5 billion to support buses since 2020, the government has provided £5.7 billion to 8 mayoral combined authorities in England to support integrated, cross-modal transport networks over the next 5 years through the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlementv (CRSTS), including supporting bus infrastructure.
The Department has also recently confirmed £129 million to roll out hundreds more zero emission buses, with the first £25 million prioritised specifically for rural communities. This brings total government investment in new zero-emission buses to almost £500 million.
Spanking 🆕 bus station = much improved bus services..✅
And still no local bus service in Potter Street.
£134 million in the region could have been used to give people free bikes! Thats 67000 electric cargo bikes or 670,000 conversion kits for ordinary bikes or 134,000 new electric bikes. That would vastly reduce the number cars, car journeys, congestion and pollution and be far more flexible than buses for most people. Most importantly at a time when living costs are soaring bikes cost virtually nothing to run. It's the modal shift that's so often talked about but never given sufficient resources or infrastructure to happen.
Eddy, You have lost the plot!
I could never understand how putting a extra layer financial burden onto bus companies, could make them run better? I was working on London Transport when deregulation happened, one day we had a bus service, that ran well, the next day, chaos, it took London Transport back into the 1920, before London Transport was formed. In my opinion, you will never run a public bus service for profit, and nor should you, break even, yes, but, not profit. I was working on Harlow buses in 1976, when Mr. Kimber the manager in charge of the financial affairs, said, “ for the first time since I started working on the buses, my outgoings, have exceeded my takings”.