Bus funding cuts set to ‘decimate’ northern network


The withdrawal of vital funding for bus services will only worsen the cost of living crisis, mayors from the North of England have told the Government.

The Bus Recovery Grant, which was introduced to support bus services during the pandemic, is set to end in October in a move that operators warn could threaten hundreds of bus routes.

Tracy Brabin

Led by the mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, a group of Northern mayors has written to the Government warning that the cuts will make the cost of living crisis worse for communities that are dependent on public transport.

‘These cuts will decimate our bus network, risk leaving people isolated and potentially unable to get to work or college,’ she said.

‘At a time when people face an extraordinary cost of living crisis, the reduction and withdrawal of bus services will seriously impact our communities, raising household bills with extra travel costs such as taxis.

‘That’s why, as Northern Mayors, we’re standing together to demand Government extend this support to prevent another severe blow to local economies at a time of national crisis.’

In West Yorkshire, without support, bus operators have notified Mayor Brabin they will withdraw 26 services, meaning some communities will lose access to their only form of public transport.

In addition, 25 routes will lose all services after 7pm which will prevent many shift workers using buses from work. Analysis cited by the mayors has also shown that over 100 local bus routes will be affected in some form.

The letter has been signed by Mayor of South Yorkshire, Oliver Coppard; Mayor of Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram and Mayor of the North of Tyne, Jamie Driscoll.

It has been sent to transport secretary Grant Shapps, chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and Conservative Party leadership candidates Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss.

This article first appeared on localgov.co.uk.

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