Steve Beasant

Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Great Grimsby and Councillor for the East Marsh Learn more

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Local bus routes slashed by 14% in areas outside London

by Steve Beasant on 18 December, 2017

Locally subsidised bus routes in areas outside London have been slashed by almost 14% in the last year, figures published by the Department for Transport today have revealed.

  • The number of miles travelled by supported bus routes, which are subsidised by local authorities, fell to 125 million in 2016/17 in areas of England outside London. This is a fall of 20 million miles, or 13.8%, compared to the previous year.
  • The DfT admits the decline in supported bus routes has not been matched by an increase in commercial ones.
  • Figures also show there were a total of 4.44 billion passenger journeys across Great Britain in 2016/17, the lowest in a decade. This is 212 million fewer than in 2014/15, and 85 million fewer than the previous year.

Jenny Randerson, Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson, commented:

“Cuts to bus services risk clogging up Britain’s roads and cutting communities adrift.

“Buses form the backbone of local communities across the country, with many people relying on them to get to work and visit friends and family.

“But this government is slashing council funding to the bone, meaning vital subsidised bus routes are being cut.

“Ministers need to boost support for local bus routes, and introduce a young person’s bus pass to give a two-thirds discount for 16-21 year-olds.”


Today’s annual bus statistics from the Department for Transport can be found here.

The DfT report notes that: “Overall, the decline in supported mileage has not been fully matched by an increase in commercial mileage” (p.10)

The Liberal Democrat 2017 manifesto called for the introduction of a new Young Person’s Bus Discount Card, for young people aged 16–21, giving a two-thirds discount on bus travel – allowing young people to access education, apprenticeships and work (link, p.63)

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