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Bus Services

Transport – in the House of Commons on 12th March 2020.

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Photo of Richard Holden Richard Holden Conservative, North West Durham

What steps he is taking to improve bus services in (a) rural and (b) other areas.

Photo of Kieran Mullan Kieran Mullan Conservative, Crewe and Nantwich

What steps his Department is taking to encourage more frequent bus services.

Photo of Grant Shapps Grant Shapps The Secretary of State for Transport

Our £220 million better deal for bus users includes measures to improve bus services in rural and urban areas. This is together with the new £5 billion fund for overhauling bus and cycle links throughout the country.

Photo of Richard Holden Richard Holden Conservative, North West Durham

Towns such as Crook, Willington and Burnopfield in my constituency are starved of late evening and weekend bus services. What plans will the Government bring forward in the next few months to enable those areas to have better services?

Photo of Grant Shapps Grant Shapps The Secretary of State for Transport

As I mentioned, there is not only the £220 million fund, but the £5 billion fund, which will enable us to bring forward a comprehensive package of measures, which I hope will significantly boost Durham County Council’s current £347,000 towards the bus service operators grant.

Photo of Kieran Mullan Kieran Mullan Conservative, Crewe and Nantwich

My constituents tell me that very often buses come late or do not turn up at all. As we look to invest more in buses, what are we going to do to make sure that the companies delivering the services are doing a decent job for our residents?

Photo of Grant Shapps Grant Shapps The Secretary of State for Transport

My hon. Friend is right: it is really important to make these bus services work in a manner where people can just rely on them and where they do not even have to look at a timetable because the frequency is there. As part of doing that, we will be opening up bus open data powers, which will ensure that that information is transferred and available to people at bus stops and in their apps, enabling a much more frequent service to run.