Transport for Towns

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:18 pm on 19th February 2019.

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Photo of Nusrat Ghani Nusrat Ghani Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport), Assistant Whip (HM Treasury) 5:18 pm, 19th February 2019

The hon. Gentleman raises a valuable point. Previously, the argument was that the powers were not available. The Department made those powers available in 2017—they have been in place for only a few years—and we are in conversation with a number of local authorities and Mayors. We need local authorities to put business cases together, come forward and be bold and responsible for the bus services that they should be making available to their local communities. The hon. Gentleman might also have noted his area has been shortlisted for a slice of the £1.28 billion transforming cities fund. I know that is a city and we are talking about towns, but we can ensure that buses are central to how that fund is allocated.