Spending Review requests
Bus Users UK is calling on the Chancellor to protect the Bus Services Operators’ Grant (BSOG) in the forthcoming Spending Review. The passenger rights group said removing the grant could see bus passengers facing a 10% increase in fares, marginalising vulnerable people and causing even greater hardship for those on the lowest incomes. According to the organisation, BSOG, which currently contributes £345m to bus services, generates economic benefits of between £2.50 and £3.50 for every £1 spent. Bus Users believes that its removal would not only lead to an increase in fares but could see bus services cut by 10%.
Chair of Bus Users, The Rt Hon Norman Baker, said, ‘Around 2.5m people rely on buses every day, while a further 3.8m use the bus for shopping. Buses carry nearly three times more passengers a year than rail and for millions of people they provide a lifeline, enabling them to engage in society and contribute to the nation’s economy. The economic and social benefits of the BSOG are considerable and we would urge Government to safeguard this vital, yet relatively modest, source of funding.’
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is calling on Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, to cut fuel duty and invest in training and driver facilities in his Autumn Statement. The organisation wants Osborne to support industry-led training schemes and student loan-type arrangements for those seeking to acquire vocational skills. The Association says Government funding for improved roadside facilities would make the industry a ‘more attractive prospective employer’.