FUNDING: £16.5million bounty reserved
Bus passengers in York, Merseyside, Nottingham, Bath and Bristol are set to benefit from £16.5million of investment in improved services.
All cities have been announced as ‘Better Bus Areas’, beating off several competitors to follow in the footsteps of Sheffield’s successful bid earlier this year.
The bids – from Nottingham City Council (£11.3million), Merseytravel (£2.7million), the West of England Partnership (£1.3million), and York City Council (£1.3million) – will allow locally-accountable authorities to improve local bus services.
Local Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said: “Local bus services are the backbone of our transport system, providing a vital lifeline for communities.
“The Better Bus Area funding will help drive economic recovery in these areas by supporting effective bus networks.
“Passengers want a reliable, effective bus service and I am pleased today to announce that four further areas will receive funding under our Better Bus Area initiative, which changes the traditional method of funding bus travel in a way designed to drive up performance and passenger numbers.”
Within Better Bus Areas, the Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) for commercial services will be devolved to councils and supplemented by a top up fund worth 20% of the BSOG claimed.
The money will enable local transport authorities to tackle the problems holding back local bus markets.
Image courtesy of fatronix, with thanks.