Public Transport: Coronavirus

Department for Transport written question – answered on 14th July 2020.

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Photo of Lord Greaves Lord Greaves Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will begin to promote public transport and a reduction in private vehicle use as part of the post-COVID-19 recovery; and what steps they will take to achieve this.

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

The Government has provided advice on using public transport guided by the scientific evidence. This will enable people to practice social distancing and help avoid crowding. Our Safer Transport guidance makes clear that people should consider all other forms of transport, such as cycling and walking, before using public transport. We expect that mandatory face coverings will give people confidence to travel safely where they have no other option but to use public transport, this is alongside other measures such as regular hand washing and maintaining distance wherever possible. Government will continually monitor and review the evidence regarding public transport and provide updates when it is safe to do so.

As part of our post-COVID-19 recovery plans, the Government is also providing £5 billion of new funding to overhaul bus and cycling links across England. This funding includes measures to encourage modal shift onto the bus, such as higher frequency services, more ‘turn up and go’ routes, new priority schemes, and more affordable fares. The new 5-year funding package builds on the Government’s determination to make buses work better for passengers. The details of the programmes, including how funding will be distributed, will be announced in due course.

There will also be a National Bus Strategy which we are finalising our approach to.

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