Together with thousands of our supporters, we've helped save buses from a funding cliff-edge that could have seen almost a third of services lost.
Like many other sectors, buses were kept afloat during the pandemic by special funding from the Government. But this funding was due to end in a matter of weeks, which was very concerning because passenger numbers are still not back to normal. The Confederation of Passenger Transport warned that if the funding ended too soon, bus services in England could be cut by 30 per cent.
We teamed up with organisations including Bus Users, the WI, and CPRE the countryside charity, to call on the Government to keep the funding going until passenger numbers have been given a fair shot at recovery. We argued that Government messaging is an important part of this - it would be topsy-turvy to cut recovery funding before the Government has made a sustained effort to encourage people back on board.
Powerfully, almost 3,000 of our supporters wrote to the Chancellor about the importance of buses for getting them to college and work, shops and doctors' surgeries, friends and family - and for cutting traffic and pollution.
The great news is that the campaign was successful! At the last moment, the Government agreed to extend the funding till October, with an extra £150 million for buses and light rail.
A huge thank you to everyone who helped win this brilliant success. Buses are so crucial to so many people, and the feeling of relief is clear in these news reports from Bristol and Doncaster, where routes that were under threat now face a more hopeful future.
But the Government has warned that this is the last package of recovery funding. Buses can have a bright future, but only if passenger numbers increase. We'll be calling on the Government to focus now on promoting bus travel, and you can help too. What is needed is for more people to leave their cars at home and catch the great, green, traffic-busting, planet-protecting, people-connecting bus! Spread the word!