Keeping our buses running

03 April 2020

We know that buses are the workhorse of our public transport system. Transport Focus also knows that passengers absolutely depend on their local bus service. Around half of the near 44,000 passengers who took part in the latest Bus Passenger Survey, told us they had no other easy access to transport.

In these immensely challenging times, with passenger numbers falling by around 90 per cent, bus operators and local transport authorities have responded to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Changes to bus services meant that they must now reasonably meet the needs of NHS staff, other key workers and those who must travel for medical care or for essential shopping.

From our many discussions with bus operators it is clear the dramatic and sudden fall in the number of passengers travelling is having a profound impact on the financial stability of the sector

It is therefore welcome news today to see the Government’s announcement of a funding package that will ‘keep England’s buses running’. It is right that the Government has recognised the exceptional circumstances posed by coronavirus.

Bus operators and transport authorities must keep services running for the foreseeable future. It is also vital that services are protected so they are ready to get back up and running as soon as this crisis is over and be there for all of us who depend on our bus service.

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