Mayor of West Yorkshire responds to bus funding announcement

Following today’s announcement from the Government about further financial support to aid local public transport’s recovery from the pandemic, Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, has responded.

Following today’s announcement from the Government about further financial support to aid local public transport’s recovery from the pandemic, Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said:

“I and other Metro Mayors have been calling for months for government to continue to support our local bus services. Passenger levels are rising as people return to work, education and leisure but they are still much lower than before Covid hit.

“All bus operators, especially our smaller ones, have had this financial uncertainty hanging over them for too long. Last weekend, people in Wakefield and north Kirklees saw reductions to their services which an earlier decision on future funding might have avoided.

“And while I welcome this funding, we still don’t know what it means for West Yorkshire operators, services and passengers. We need transparency around how much money is available and what happens when it ends in October. We have ambitious plans for buses in West Yorkshire, but we need a stable network upon which to build.

“Buses are a vital means for many people to get around, to work, healthcare, social activities and education. I very much believe buses are an essential public service.

“Operators need to use this time to get more people onto buses, and not use it to further reduce bus routes and frequency.

“I urge government to work with me and other Mayors to bring stability and certainty to our local bus networks with some long-term, strategic funding instead of making decisions at the last possible moment.”