Covid-19: Transport

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:46 pm on 12th May 2020.

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Photo of Grant Shapps Grant Shapps The Secretary of State for Transport 2:46 pm, 12th May 2020

My hon. Friend is right to point that out. I want to be completely straight with him and with the House: there is a basic dilemma. We have a situation where, probably for the first time ever, I, a Transport Secretary, am encouraging people not to use public transport, which rubs against the bus operators’ need to have income. That is why, at or soon after the beginning of this crisis, I announced a multimillion-pound deal as a bus support grant, to ensure that my hon. Friend’s and other hon. Members’ local services could continue. As he knows, we are very keen indeed on buses—as is my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister. That is why we have a very large, multibillion-pound fund for buses, particularly to look after left-behind communities during this Parliament.