Mayors call on Government to protect local bus services

Tracy Brabin joined other Metro Mayors in writing to the Department for Transport calling for clarity about funding for vital bus services

08 February 2023

Mayors call on Government to protect local bus services and provide certainty for passengers

The Mayor of West Yorkshire has issued a rallying call for Government to stop leaving local regions “in the dark” and come clean about funding for vital bus services.

Tracy Brabin, alongside other metro mayors, has written to the Department for Transport calling for clarity around the government’s bus recovery grant. The letter was also signed by the Mayors of Liverpool City Region, South Yorkshire, North of the Tyne, West of England and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

The government grant, originally designed to help bus operators through low passenger numbers during the Covid-19 pandemic, is set to end next month. And bus operators have warned that there could be drastic cuts to local services as a result because passenger numbers haven’t reached pre-pandemic levels yet.

The Mayors have slammed the government for leaving communities in the dark about whether funding will be continued after next month, while Transport for London has already agreed a multi-year support package with the government.

It is feared that this could lead to a 15 per cent cut in bus services across the country leaving people stranded and crippling local economies.

In the letter, the mayors said that further cuts to bus networks would devastate our communities and undermine efforts to develop strong regional economies.

Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, said:

“We want fairer investment for buses in our region so people can get to school or work, and to give our communities the best chance to thrive.

“The Government’s lack of clarity on support for buses is keeping communities in the dark and could force operators to make drastic cuts to services, which will decimate transport networks across the country and hold back growth.”