Bus and tram services in England will be receiving an extra £256 million of support, taking the total to at least £700 million. This additional funding is especially welcome as we anticipate a significant rise in demand in September when the children all go back to school.
Bus services will receive up to £218 million over the next eight weeks with a further 27million available per week afterwards until the funding is no longer needed. Currently, services are only operating at 80% of normal service levels with passenger numbers being significantly below pre virus levels. The extra funding is designed to make good bus operator losses until services begin to return to normal levels.
During the pandemic bus services were reduced as people worked from home and non-essential shops and services were closed, this meant that bus and tram services needed a significant level of support which so far has reached at least £700 million.
As the businesses begin to reopen and all schools return in September it is important that the right level of services is provided to ensure travel is safe for everyone.
As a predominantly rural constituency it is essential we support bus services in South Derbyshire in order to connect remote communities and ensure people can get to work and have access to the supplies and essentials they need.
The original funding has secured our local transport and I welcome the extra funding which will help until services return to their normal levels. Bus companies are expecting a rising demand in September when all pupils return to full-time education and increasing numbers of employees return to work.