The UK Government announced today it will invest £7bn to level up the country’s local transport system.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps tweeted that the funding will be use “to roll out cheaper, better bus services outside of London”, providing upgrade to tram, cycling and rail networks too.
Under the scheme, 31 counties, city regions and unitary authorities will be given funds to make buses more frequent and cheaper.
In Cornwall, which was chosen as a pilot area, from 10 April bus fares will be slashed with costs for short routes going down by 20 per cent and some bus passes cut by around 50 per cent.
“Buses are the most popular way of getting around in this country – but for too long people outside of London have had a raw deal,” Shapps commented.
“The investment we’re making today to ramp up the bus revolution will drive down fares at a time when people’s finances are tight and help connect communities across England.”
According to the Confederation of Passenger Transport, while the news was welcome but needs to be met with future funding.
“It is important that we remember though that there will be millions of passengers left disappointed by today’s announcement as their local area missed out on funding,” a spokesperson said.
“It’s vital that the government now clearly sets out future funding plans and policy initiatives for delivering its National Bus Strategy, including measures to reduce car use.
“This will ensure that today’s announcement is the beginning not the end of plans to improve bus services across the country.”
The government also confirmed a £5.7bn investment to level up transport networks across England’s eight city regions.
The money, initially announced in the Autumn statement, will help deliver flat fares on buses in Greater Manchester as well as a mass transit network in West Yorkshire.