Labour call on Ministers to provide certainty for bus passengers as funding nears end

A third of bus services are at imminent risk of being cut, Labour have warned, amid calls for Ministers to provide certainty for passengers.

In a letter to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Shadow Transport Secretary and Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh has warned the Government that it faces a looming cliff-edge when funding ends, which could be “devastating for the millions who depend on buses”.

Emergency funding for bus services is due to end on April 6, and Labour is calling for local authorities and providers to be given clarity over the situation.

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Ms Haigh said: “The Tories promised ‘transformational’ investment in bus services, but they’re handing communities a crisis. These cuts would be devastating for the millions of passengers who depend on buses, and would represent a straightforward betrayal of the promises made to communities.

Undated file photo of a bus. (PA)

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“Local communities need certainty in the face of this looming bus crisis, or they risk declining services being locked in for years to come.”

According to latest figures, bus passenger numbers outside of London are still 26 per cent lower than they were before the Covid-19 pandemic started.

The Department for Transport said a £3bn investment has been committed for bus services by 2025.

A spokesperson added: “We have provided over £1.7bn to keep bus services running across the country throughout the pandemic, and are working closely with operators and local transport authorities to protect services after April.”