Mayors fear funding cut will see bus routes lost

Four mayors have stated that hundreds of bus routes would be eliminated unless more cash is introduced to sustain services during the epidemic.

Many people won’t have access to public transportation unless the Bus Service Recovery Grant is restored, according to the Labour mayors of Liverpool City Region, North of Tyne, South Yorkshire, and West Yorkshire.

The grant’s expiration date is in October.

By 2025, the Department of Transportation (DfT) “committed to spending $3 billion on bus services,” according to the DfT.

According to the most recent government statistics, weekday bus use in the UK outdoors was around two-thirds of pre-coronavirus levels.

About a third of bus trips before the epidemic were for commuting, although many of those trips have since decreased as a result of the trend toward remote employment.

The mayors wrote an united letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps in which they stated that “in some form” after 19:00, “half of routes” will be impacted, with many losing “all services.”

Mayors of West Yorkshire, North of Tyne, South Yorkshire, and Liverpool City Region, Tracy Brabin, Jamie Driscoll, and Oliver Coppard, claimed bus operators in their districts have “recently notified that they want to remove hundreds of bus lines.”

Without intervention, they said, “the changes to bus service would have a severe impact on the affected neighborhoods, exacerbate the cost of living issue, and violate the objectives of the National Bus Strategy, which was only established last year.”

They said, “This may still be avoided,” and demanded that financing be kept “in a manner that would allow a more controlled transition into a new ‘post-pandemic’ bus network.”

The government has “committed to investing £3 billion into bus services by 2025 to improve fares, services, and infrastructure,” according to a DfT spokeswoman.

In order to lessen the effects of the epidemic, he added, it has already allocated “almost £2 billion to bus companies and local authorities since March 2020.”

In order to assist network planning, “we continue to listen to the industry and work closely with operators and local transport authorities, ensuring that all practicable efforts are taken to preserve services,” the official added.

Authorities and operators must “work together to ensure routes are financially sustainable and reflect the demands of passengers post-pandemic,” he continued, in order to “maximise this investment.”

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