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Public Transport

Department for Transport written question – answered on 10th February 2020.

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Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Labour, Slough

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent steps he has taken to increase the number of people who use public transport.

Photo of George Freeman George Freeman Minister of State (Department for Transport)

For the seventh year in a row, the Department has capped regulated rail fares in line with inflation. We have already cut costs for hundreds of thousands of passengers with new 26-30 and 16-17 railcards, and will be rolling out a new Veteran’s Railcard to give 830,000 former servicemen and women a third off their rail costs.

We are committed to taking decisive action on the recommendations of the Williams Rail Review. We have launched single-leg fares trial on LNER and announced a flexible season ticket trial for passengers travelling on certain routes with GTR, due to launch later this year. We have also established a new ‘fares trials fund’, to kick start further trials this year across the country. These will save money for thousands of passengers, and provide the foundations for reform of the whole fares system.

The Bus Services Act 2017 introduced new powers for local authorities and operators to work together to grow bus passenger numbers.

The £220 million Better Deal for Bus Users package provides new funding to help transform bus services. The National Bus Strategy will work along with a long-term funding settlement and a review of existing bus funding to increase bus usage.

On top of the £1 billion spent by the Government on concessionary travel for eligible older and disabled people around £250 million is paid every year to support bus services in England to keep fares lower.

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