Last reviewed 29 October 2020
As the Government’s eight weeks of emergency funding for buses came to an end, the TUC highlighted recent reports which suggest that 40% of Yorkshire’s bus services could be lost if funding is not maintained.
Emergency funding of £218.4 million to support bus routes was granted for eight weeks from 8 August. After which, funding was to be reduced to £27.3 million per week (see GOV.UK).
The TUC has launched a campaign to save the buses, pointing out that evening, infrequent and socially necessary services are all at risk of being scrapped.
It blames what it calls the failure of the privatised model of bus provision after it found the Department for Transport (DfT) data showing that the region has lost 17.5 million miles of bus route since 2014.
North Yorkshire has been the worst affected, with 5.3 million miles lost over the last six years.
TUC spokesman Gareth Lewis said: “Our bus system is in crisis. ‘Buses in Yorkshire should be run to serve our community, not for the benefit of private operators. But right now we face a funding cliff edge, with hundreds of services at risk.”
He urged the Government to pay money directly to councils, rather than to private operators, so that decisions over routes and timetables can be made closer to those they affect.
“The Government needs to fully fund services, including infrequent and socially necessary routes,” Mr Lewis concluded. “We cannot let the poorest pay the price for a failing system.”