LGA responds to Transport Committee report about Bus Services Bill

28 Nov 2016 12:59 PM

Cllr Martin Tett, LGA Transport spokesman, responds to a Transport committee report about the Bus Services Bill.

"Councils need to have a bigger say in bus provision so they can help ensure communities get the services they need. This is why we are pleased that the benefits of the Bus Services Bill are to be available everywhere and, as this Bill currently stands, that all councils will be able to automatically franchise bus services, not just those with directly-elected mayors. The removal of Clause 21 in the Bill is also a big step forward as this allows councils to retain powers to form new municipal bus companies. It is now imperative these changes, which the LGA has campaigned hard for, are retained as the Bill passes from the Lords to the Commons.

"In addition, the Government needs to commit to fully funding the concessionary fares scheme. Councils have been forced to reduce bus services by more than 12 per cent in the last year alone – leaving thousands of people, many of them in rural communities, isolated. The picture over the past decade is just as bleak. Council-supported bus services in rural areas only have reduced by 40 per cent – by 71 million bus miles (from 178 to 107 million miles) - and in urban areas by just over a quarter (51 to 37 million miles). "

Notes for editors

The Bus Services Bill had its Third Reading on 23 November 2016

Further information and briefings on the Bus Services Bill