Bus networks ‘collapse’ if funding cut
According to information obtained by the Campaign for Better Transport through a Freedom of Information request, if BSOG, the main support for buses, is cut then one in seven bus journeys would be lost. It claims this would cost the economy £3.7bn by 2022. Over 30 organisations, including the WI, the RNIB and the National Union of Students, have written to the Chancellor, George Osborne, demanding he maintain support for bus services in this year’s Spending Round. With support for bus services having already faced significant cuts, the organisation fears that a further round of spending reductions could ‘push many services over the edge, leading to the collapse of entire networks’.
Modelling by the Local Government Association suggests that further pressure on local authority funding could see councils cutting all their support for bus services. Estimates of even a 25% cut in local council support for buses shows this would reduce passenger journeys by 14%. According to the Campaign, this would spell the end of local authority support for evening services, services in smaller towns and the end of Sunday buses.
Chief Executive, Campaign for Better Transport, Stephen Joseph, said, ‘If Government swings the axe at bus funding again it could spell the end for whole networks of services. There will be grave impacts on employment, education and communities. Campaign for Better Transport is calling on the Government to protect bus funding and avoid cuts which would tip many vital services over the edge.’