Dominic Browne 22 July 2022

Labour warns of bus service cuts as COVID cash ends

Labour warns of bus service cuts as COVID cash ends image
Image: pcruciatti / Shutterstock.com

Labour has warned that a wave of bus service cuts will hit the country this summer as COVID support funding ends, and has written to transport secretary Grant Shapps calling for action.

Labour shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh warned that from the end of July bus services will be slashed in what the opposition party described as 'a betrayal of the promises this government made to improve bus services'.

Ms Haigh accused the Government of slashing its bus transformation funding by almost two-thirds and leaving almost 60% of local communities without any funding to improve bus services.

As Transport Network has previously reported, more than a billion of transformation funding has been diverted to cover COVID subsidies.

With Covid Recovery Funding now set to expire at the end of September, communities are facing a wave of bus service cuts, Labour warned, highlighting South Yorkshire, where a third of services are set to be removed from 24 July. Operators in the North East are also expected be reducing services.

Ms Haigh said: 'Communities and local leaders need certainty in the face of this looming bus crisis, but Ministers are missing in action. Any reduction in services will be devastating for the millions of passengers who depend on buses, and would represent a straightforward betrayal of the promises this government made to communities.

A spokesperson for the Department for Transport described Labour's claims as 'wholly inaccurate' and said it had 'committed to investing £3bn into bus services by 2025, to improve fares, services and infrastructure, and given nearly £2bn since March 2020 to bus operators and local authorities to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic'.

In fact, ministers have previously made clear that cash for COVID support is part of the £3bn rather than being in addition to it.

The spokesperson added: 'To maximise this investment, local authorities need to ensure that services are commercially sustainable and reflect the needs of passengers post-pandemic.'

This article first appeared on Transport Network.

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Chief Executive

Glasgow City Council
c. £200k
Glasgow is a city with a proud heritage, that is ambitious for the future. Glasgow, Glasgow City
Recuriter: Glasgow City Council

Social Worker

Wakefield Council
£33,024.00 to £35,745.00, grade 8
Social Care Direct has an exciting opportunity for a Level 1 Social Worker to join our friendly team. Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Wakefield Council

Woodworking Tutor, Part Time, Term Time - Basildon

Essex County Council
Up to £28432 per annum + pro rata
Woodworking Tutor, Part Time, Term Time - BasildonPermanent, Part TimeUp to £28,432 per annum, pro rataLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Property Surveyor RBKC614550

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£64,929 - £74,220 per annum
At RBKC, we are committed to changing for the better and we are determined to put our residents at the heart of every decision. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Library and Neighbourhood Hubs Representative x 2

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
£23,500 - £23,893 pro rata
We are currently seeking to recruit a highly motivated individual with a passion for delivering the very best customer service. Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
Linkedin Banner

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.