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Roads to Nowhere

New research shows second year of cuts for buses

Former campaigner's picture

12 December 2012: We've just published new research showing that 40% of councils are making further cuts to funding for bus services, after deep cuts last year.

The research is based on freedom of information requests to local councils and we've identified around £18m worth of cuts. Some had thought the worst was over last year when one in five supported bus services were withdrawn or cut back. But it looks like the 20% cut in bus service operators' grant (BSOG) has led to further round of cuts.

There has been some good news with some councils finding more money, partly as a result of Transport Minister Norman Baker grabbing money that the Department for Transport hadn't spent and putting it into a new Better Bus Areas fund. Without that additional £70m, the picture would have been much worse.

But with local authortity budgets being squeezed again next year and bus companies looking at routes which were previously paid for by councils but which are now commercial, things could be bleaker still.

That's why it's essential that the Government make sure its devolution of funding for buses to local councils goes where there is real need and helps councils and operators cooperate to deliver good services that can withstand the financial pressures currently facing them.

You can read the full report of our findings below.