Chancellor urged to end funding crisis
A number of organisations and trade bodies have joined forces to urge the Chancellor to end what they describe as the funding crisis threatening bus services in the UK. The 28 groups include Campaign for Better Transport, Bus Users UK, Age UK, Transport for All, National Federation of Women’s Institute and the National Union of Students. In an open letter to Chancellor George Osborne ahead of this month’s Budget, the groups are calling for an urgent and comprehensive review that recognises the role buses play ‘economically, socially and environmentally’. The letter also calls for sustainable, long term funding following the announcement of dramatic cuts in funding by county councils across the country. In the letter, they highlighted the contribution to society made by bus services. It stresses nearly 5bn journeys are made by bus in the UK each year, with every £1 of public investment in buses providing between £3 and £5 of wider benefits to local economies and to social and environmental wellbeing.
Chief Executive of Bus Users, Claire Walters, said, ‘Buses are the lifeblood of the community. They bring people together, give them access to vital services, employment and education, and allow even the most isolated and vulnerable to play a full and active role in society. The dramatic cuts to services currently being threatened will affect us all, not just the millions of us who rely on the bus each day.’
Go to www.bususers.org/assets/2014_Budget_Joint_Letter.pdf to read the letter in full.