26 February 2013
Campaign for Better Transport has responded to Department for Transport guidance for local authorities wishing to apply for Better Bus Area funding.
Richard Hebditch, Campaigns Director, Campaign for Better Transport said
“Better Bus Areas are supposed to help fill the black hole left by year-on-year cuts in government’s support for buses. Any local areas with ambitious plans for its buses will quickly find their enthusiasm running up against assessments based on narrow benefit cost ratios. There is nothing in the guidance aimed at helping those who’ve been worst hit by the cuts, young people for example, many of whom have seen their concessionary fares schemes cut back.”
Richard Hebditch continued
“If the Better Bus Areas fund is to have the positive impact we hope, councils and operators also need to have more certainty about the Government’s overall policy for Bus Service Operators Grant.”
Notes to Editors
1. Details of guidance for local authorities bidding for Better Bus Area funding can be found on the Department for Transport's website.
2. Campaign for Better Transport's response to the government's consultation on Better Bus Area Funding made a number of recommendation which have been overlooked, including local authorities bidding to be Better Bus Areas should be required to demonstrate their plans to:
- Improve the bus offer to young people, for instance in terms of concessionary passes
- Commit to deliver multi-operator ticketing (whether through smart ticketing or traditional forms)
- Improve door to door journeys, in line with the forthcoming strategy from the Department for Transport.
- Bids by local authorities should be assessed against these criteria.