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Rural bus put on endangered species list

1 October 2007
The rural bus will become an endangered species unless action is taken now by central and local governments, Campaign for Better Transport [1] revealed today with the publication of a report and case studies on rural buses [2].

The case studies reveal the hidden problem of rural bus cuts and the devastating impact the cuts have on people and communities: elderly villagers left isolated, schoolchildren left without a school bus, hospital visitors and workers left without a public transport option and tourists inconvenienced by rerouted buses.

The report shows how the Government can grab the opportunity to revive and strengthen the fragile and endangered rural bus – by giving local authorities more powers over buses, creating a more stable and secure funding regime and establishing a bus passenger watchdog.

Cat Hobbs, the group's public transport campaigner, says "If the Government doesn't act now, the countryside will become a ghetto for the rich, completely inaccessible for those without cars. Through its local transport bill, the Government is focusing on improving congestion and buses in cities, but it can't afford to ignore buses in rural areas. Good rural buses need to be an alternative for people with cars as well as a lifeline for those without."

 

Notes to editors

[1] Campaign for Better Transport is the new name of Transport 2000, which has been securing better transport policy and programmes since 1973.

[2] The report and case studies are online:

Rural_buses_case_studies.pdf

Rural_buses_report.pdf