Today we sent a clear message to the Chancellor George Osborne that enough is enough and action needs to be taken to halt the decline of our bus services across the country.
A letter signed by a broad coalition of 29 different charities, trade unions and groups including the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, The NUS and Age UK are all calling for the Chancellor to take immediate action and step in to avert what is proving to be a crisis in the making.
2014 is set to be the worst year yet for cuts to bus services with local authorities being forced into making financially agonising decisions following cuts to their funding from Central Government. Already almost £20m has been earmarked to be cut from supported bus budgets with potentially more on the horizon. Counties such as Worcestershire and Cumbria are proposing to cut all support for bus services whilst North Yorkshire, Dorset, Essex and Nottinghamshire are all cutting huge amounts from their supported bus budgets.
This follows a very worrying decline in funding for buses over the last three years which was highlighted in our recent report Buses in Crisis. We are calling on the Chancellor to do two things.
The first is for the Government to put in place emergency funding for buses to ensure that jobseekers, isolated people, and economic growth are not unduly disadvantaged by the pressures on local authority finance.
The second calls on the Government to carry out a comprehensive and prompt review of bus funding that takes into account the vital role buses play economically, socially and environmentally, putting in place a long term funding settlement that would enable growth in this industry as we have seen in the railways.
If the Chancellor wants to see our economy continue to grow he must make public transport a priority and give buses the funding they need and deserve in his budget next week, this is vital to keep our country moving.
URGENT ACTION: Don't miss the bus in the Budget, George! Please take our quick and simple email action and tell the Chancellor to Save Our Buses in the Budget on 19 March.