Bus Services Bill [Lords]

Part of Supply and Appropriation (Anticipation and Adjustments) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:01 pm on 1st March 2017.

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Photo of Andrew Jones Andrew Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) 6:01 pm, 1st March 2017

It is with great pleasure that I close this Second Reading debate. We have had a very good debate about a very good Bill, and it has been fantastic to hear such enthusiasm for buses on both sides of the Chamber. I thank right hon. and hon. Members for their keen participation and engagement. It is clear that we all want buses to thrive because of their impact on our local communities.

As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State set out, the aim of the Bill is to increase bus passenger numbers and to improve services by creating new options and opportunities. It also delivers on our devolution deals so that local authorities and bus operators can work together on a bus strategy that works locally. That is how local authorities can work to cut congestion, support businesses and improve air quality, and it is how operators can increase their patronage. The Bill will build on good practice to make sure that we have an industry that is open and accessible to all.

Many Members—particularly my hon. Friends the Members for Bolton West (Chris Green) and for Bath (Ben Howlett), and Alan Brown—welcomed the introduction of a requirement to provide on-board information throughout Great Britain, which will mean that all passengers, particularly disabled passengers, will be able to board a bus with confidence. Many colleagues have said how everybody benefits from that—I completely agree.