On the buses

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A CONCENTRATION on major transport schemes is distracting attention from the need to boost local urban bus services, a new report suggests.

But whether or not this is the case, it is surely true that the country should not be choosing one over the other. Bus services in Barnsley 
may not excite politicians in the same way that high-speed rail, for instance, does. But paying attention to transport infrastructure within towns and cities is just as important as establishing swift connections between them.

This is why the report by the Passenger Transport Executive Group stresses the benefits to the economy from public investment in urban buses, a conclusion endorsed by a separate Barnsley Council investigation which says that better public transport links can play a major role in easing youth unemployment and in getting the long-term jobless to seek and accept offers of work.

No one will ever get their name emblazoned in history for improving a town’s public transport, but that does not mean that there is not a national legacy to be left by politicians prepared to concentrate on local infrastructure.