Bus Services: South East

Department for Transport written question – answered on 24th March 2020.

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Photo of Rehman Chishti Rehman Chishti Conservative, Gillingham and Rainham

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to improve bus services in (a) Medway, (b) Kent and (c) the South East.

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The bus market outside London is deregulated and decisions regarding service provision are primarily a commercial matter for bus operators. However, the Bus Services Act 2017 provides the tools local authorities need to improve local bus services and increase passenger numbers.

The annual Bus Service Operators Grant the Government provided for Kent County Council during 2018/19 was £1,087,788.

We have announced an additional £30 million of additional funding to improve current services and restoring lost services. Kent County Council has been allocated £1,007,624 which will be available from April 2020 if the funding requirements are met. This is from the £220 million Better Deal for Bus Users package to transform bus services. The Government’s ambition is to secure a long term, sustained improvement in bus services underpinned by a National Bus Strategy for England which will be accompanied by a long-term funding settlement.

www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-better-deal-for-bus-users/a-better-deal-for-bus-users

On 11 February 2020, the Prime Minister announced there will be £5 billion of new funding to overhaul bus and cycle links for every region outside London which may benefit bus services serving Medway, Kent and the wider South East.

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