CBT calls for action to halt “collapse in bus services”
Campaign for Better Transport is calling for urgent action to stem what it terms “the collapse in bus services and fast rising fares across England”. The campaign group points to new government statistics which show a fall of 27 million in the number of bus journeys taken in England with fares continuing to raise significantly faster than inflation. This coincides with local authorities continuing to withdraw services in the face of funding cuts from central Government, according to CBT.
"Since 2010, government has made swingeing year-on-year cuts in support for buses,” says Martin Abrams, CBT public transport campaigner. “These statistics show the impact of those cuts with bus services disappearing, isolating whole communities and leaving ever more people unable to get to education, jobs and other basic services."
The group is calling for the forthcoming Buses Bill to give cities and regions power to improve and develop bus services, backed up by proper funding, and for retention of BSOG which it says is under severe pressure as part of the government's spending review.
"The government must back up its plans to devolve transport powers in some cities and regions with proper funding,” adds Abrahams. “If they really care about buses, the Chancellor will have to put his money where his mouth. That means not pulling the rug out from under the bus industry and protecting essential funding in the Spending Review, otherwise whole networks of bus services could be lost."