Current government support for bus services is due to end on August 3 and focuses on directing funding to operators rather than transport authorities

 

 
West Yorkshire Combined Authority is calling for a long term solution to support for public transport during the COVID-19 pandemic as revised bus timetables are introduced.

It says that giving transport authorities the funding and powers to commission the services would secure the best outcome for passengers, “rather than funnelling money to operators to use as they see fit”.

Public transport faces a significant capacity challenge as the number of people travelling to work rises and shops and services re-open in the coming weeks, while social distancing is maintained.

Additional bus services will become available this week as part of timetable changes but people will continue to be urged to consider whether their journey is necessary.

Buses are an essential part of the West Yorkshire transport system, accounting for almost three million journeys per week before the pandemic.

Current government support for bus services is due to end on August 3 and focuses on directing funding to operators rather than transport authorities.

Funding and empowering transport authorities to commission the services that meet local needs is the best way to secure the best outcome for passengers rather than funnelling money to operators to use as they see fit

“Sadly the government is prioritising short-term relief for the bus industry’s strained finances over a long-term managed approach which would help public transport recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council and WYCA transport lead.

“Funding and empowering transport authorities to commission the services that meet local needs is the best way to secure the best outcome for passengers rather than funnelling money to operators to use as they see fit.

“Working with other transport authorities through the Urban Transport Group, we have set out proposals on how to support bus services while securing value for money and hope the government will work with us to put them into action.”

 
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