Bus Services Bill [Lords]

Part of Supply and Appropriation (Anticipation and Adjustments) Bill – in the House of Commons at 1:07 pm on 1st March 2017.

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Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling The Secretary of State for Transport 1:07 pm, 1st March 2017

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

Buses are England’s most used form of public transport. With over 4.65 billion passenger journeys a year, they account for over 60% of all public transport trips. Buses support our economy, and they connect our communities to the workplace and vital public services, such as healthcare and education. They help to reduce congestion, and cleaner bus technologies also contribute significantly to improving air quality. The Government continue to regard this as a priority, and we are helping to drive it forward through investing in schemes such as the £30 million low emission bus scheme and the £7 million in the clean bus technology fund.

Across England, the bus industry is delivering excellent services for passengers. According to the most recent bus passenger survey by Transport Focus, 86% of passengers were satisfied with their services. Buses today are very different from the buses of 30 years ago: over 90% are accessible; many have free wi-fi, CCTV and USB charging points; and nine out of 10 have smart ticketing equipment. That is all thanks to significant private sector investment in the industry. I am particularly pleased that the five largest operators are continuing to invest in better services and that they will bring contactless payment to every bus outside London during the next five years. We have an industry of large and small firms, with large firms doing a good job and small firms doing a good job.