Bus Services: Rural Areas

Department for Transport written question – answered on 9th September 2019.

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Photo of Lord Bradshaw Lord Bradshaw Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the reasons for any reduction in the number and frequency of rural bus services since 2015.

Photo of Baroness Vere of Norbiton Baroness Vere of Norbiton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Bus passenger journeys declined in rural areas in England by 9.3% from 286 million journeys in 2014/15 to 259 million journeys in 2017/18.

The Government recognises the importance of public transport on the sustainability and independence of rural communities, and provides £43 million of the Bus Service Operators Grant each year directly to local authorities so that they can subsidise bus services. In addition, as part of the 2018-19 local government finance settlement, the Government increased the Rural Services Delivery Grant to £81 million. The 2019-20 settlement increased the Grant to the same level.

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