If ever there was a solution looking for a problem it is allowing other vehicles into bus lanes. The clue is in the name. They are there because buses are the most efficient way to move people on the roads.
When it comes to motorised transport, the bus is definitely the poor relation. It doesn’t appear to have the same appeal to decision makers that road and rail have. Indeed, both these forms of transport consume vast public resources in comparison to buses, yet buses are an essential form of transport for millions of people every day. Indeed, without them, many local economies would struggle and the burdens on our already struggling social services and NHS would increase still further. And congestion and pollution already bad in many places would become intolerable.
Rural bus services are in crisis throughout Britain. Public sector austerity cuts have resulted in local authorities reducing support for rural bus networks. The insanely unfair system of reimbursement for English National Concessionary Travel (ENCT) senior passes discriminates against rural bus operations, on which up to 80 per cent of passengers can be passholders. Bus routes are being slashed and small bus operators going out of business at an alarming rate. The Government blames local authorities and local authorities blame Government, but it is the rural poor and households without cars who suffer.