The responsibility for local transport links in rural areas lies with the local transport authorities, who are able to use the Integrated Transport capital funding provided by Government to improve transport links in their rural areas.
In March I published ‘Green Light for Buses’ which includes the commitment to support local transport authorities in their ability to procure non-commercial services, including more flexible, innovative options such as community buses.
In December 2011 I announced a second £10m tranche of the Supporting Community Transport Fund for local authorities in rural areas to help kick-start schemes where commercial services are not profitable and local transport authorities have chosen not to fund services under the powers available to them.
Some of the Local Authority Major Transport Schemes being funded by the Government will improve links to, through and between rural areas. In addition, the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) attracted successful bids supporting schemes that improve transport links in rural areas.
We also support community rail schemes and many of the 32 lines or services designated under the Community Rail Development Strategy serve rural areas.
The Coalition Government plans to publish a Rural Statement shortly.