Transport minister Andrew Jones told this month’s ‘UK Bus Summit’
that the bus sector must end its reliance on public funding

 

andrew_jonesAndrew Jones: ‘An industry which requires public subsidy is not an industry which has a healthy, robust, sustainable future’

 

The government will not provide extra funding to prevent the further erosion of bus services in England. The bus industry must instead accept that taxpayer support for local bus services is not sustainable. That was the tough message from transport minister Andrew Jones at this month’s UK Bus Summit in London.

In response to a question about funding for rural bus services, Jones said: “We shouldn’t be having an industry which relies endlessly upon public subsidy. We’re always going to see huge demand for public spending, you only have to look at how some of our public services are intense pressure, such as the health service.”

“So an industry which requires public subsidy is not an industry which has a healthy, robust, sustainable future.”

Jones said that “more bums on seats” must enable bus services to support themselves financially – but a survey of the audience found that less than one third agreed that UK bus patronage will increase over the next decade.

 

Further UK Bus Summit coverage in the latest issue of Passenger Transport:

 
‘More public subsidy is not the answer’
Minister says more ‘bums on seats’ can eliminate the need for public funding, but only 29% believe bus patronage will be higher in 10 years’ time

Yousaf considers car constraint
‘I can take my car literally into John Lewis’

Comment: Industry doesn’t share Jones’ faith in future
Minister denies long term decline, audience disagrees

Some patronage loss is ‘actually quite good’
Leon Daniels, TfL’s managing director of surface transport, says that
a variety of factors are behind the recent fall in bus patronage in London

Is new technology the saviour of rural buses?
Group CEOs say DRT technology could be the rural bus future

‘First Manchester was a failing bus company’
FirstGroup was taking the wrong path in the north of Manchester

 

Further coverage appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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