11 March 2014
A broad coalition of Charities and Trade Unions has called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to take urgent action in this month's Budget to end the crisis in funding for buses.
28 groups including Campaign for Better Transport, National Federation of Women’s Institutes, Age UK, the National Union of Students and disability charity Transport for All have written to the Chancellor calling for an urgent review of funding for bus services in England after councils across the country announced dramatic reductions in support for buses as part of cost-cutting measures.
Martin Abrams, Public Transport Campaigner, Campaign for Better Transport said
"People of all ages rely on buses. But year on year cuts in support from local authorities means many services are under threat, putting huge pressure on other transport and cutting people off from the places they need to get to. The Government needs to take urgent action to stem the loss of services, and to put buses on a sustainable long term footing."
Martin Abrams continued
"Buses are essential for getting people to work and college, as a lifeline connecting communities, and in helping people to live independently. Allowing so many bus services to disappear would be both an economic and a social disaster for communities across the country."
The letter sets out the importance of buses and calls on the Chancellor to:
1. Put in place emergency funding to ensure that jobseekers, isolated people, and economic growth are not disadvantaged by the pressures on local authority finance.
2. Carry out a comprehensive and prompt review of bus funding that takes into account the vital role buses play economically, socially and environmentally, with the aim of putting in place a long term funding settlement.
1. Buses have seen year on year reductions in funding from local authorities. In December, Campaign for Better Transport published Buses in Crisis, which found that 46 per cent of local authorities cut support for buses in 2013.
2. The joint letter which has been signed by a broad coalition of 28 charities, trade unions and thinktanks and is available to download here.