Thomas Bridge 12 January 2015

Bus services facing 'crisis' over council cuts

Bus services are being lost at an ‘alarming rate’, with half of councils in England and Wales reducing funding this year, new research suggests.

The Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) has warned certain communities are ‘cut off from society’ as town hall funding declines.

Council funding to support subsidised bus services has been cut by £44m since 2010 – a 15% fall. The overall cut in support over the 2014/15 financial year stands at £9m, with rural areas thought to have been hit worst with an average reduction of 19%.

Over 2,000 bus routes have been reduced, altered or withdrawn over the past five years, with 500 services cut over 2014/15.

Some 22 local authorities have reduced funding for supported buses by over 10% in 2014/15, with seven thought not to be spending any money on such services.

CBT public transport campaigner, Martin Abrams, said: ‘Across the country, bus services are being lost at an alarming rate. Year on year cuts to budgets mean entire networks have now disappeared, leaving many communities with little public transport and in some cases none at all.

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