PROJECTS to improve bus services in rural areas of the South West are set to benefit from £2.5 million, Transport Minister Baroness Vere announced today as the Government unveils the most ambitious shake-up of the bus sector in a generation.
However there is no money for Somerset as only Gloucestershire County Council and Wiltshire Council have been included in the scheme.
The investment is part of a £20 million fund to support innovative on-demand services, such as minibuses that can be booked via an app, which are able to get closer to where people live in rural and suburban areas, and at a time convenient for them.
The allocations from the Rural Mobility Fund come as the UK Government launches its new National Bus Strategy, backed by £3 billion of investment, which will see passengers across England benefiting from more frequent, more reliable, easier to use and understand, better coordinated and cheaper bus services.
The changes include:
- Simpler bus fares with daily price caps, so people can use the bus as many times a day as they need without facing mounting costs
- More services in the evenings and at the weekends
- Integrated services and ticketing across all transport modes, so people can easily move from bus to train
- All buses to accept contactless payments
The funding being allocated today will enable local authorities to trial innovative projects in rural and suburban areas, where traditional timetabled services often aren’t practical.