Better deal pledged for bus users
Monday 26 March 2012
Bus passengers in England were promised improved services today following a series of changes announced by the Government.
These included the elimination of barriers to competition and new regulations to prevent anti-competitive practices by bus operators.
Announcing the changes, Transport Minister Norman Baker said his vision was "for a bus service that is reliable, flexible, offers competitive prices, smarter ticketing and provides passengers with a service they want to use time and again".
But the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) said the announcement was "just a silver lining to a big black cloud of bus cuts".
Reforms announced today, which apply to services in England, included:
:: New regulations to ensure healthy competition between bus companies. This is in response to the Competition Commission report in to the local bus market;
:: Support to local authorities in delivering effective, innovative public transport services for local communities through the bus service operators grant;
:: An extra £15 million to help increase investment in smart ticketing equipment, particularly among small and medium-sized bus companies.
Mr Baker said: "By devolving funding to local authorities it now gives them the power to tackle local issues on the ground and develop practical solutions to community problems.
"This cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach. Each local bus market has its own issues and challenges. The focus over the coming months is on guiding, empowering and encouraging local partners to be efficient, innovative and creative in coming up with solutions to the transport needs of local people."
CBT's public transport campaigner, Sophie Allain said: "The new bus policy is welcome and giving councils more powers and funding may help, but today's announcement is just a silver lining to a big black cloud of bus cuts and doesn't deal with the cuts to services across the country."
She went on: "These cuts matter because they stop people getting to jobs and training and also harm high street trade. The underfunding of the free bus pass scheme for pensioners and deep cuts in Government bus funding still need to be urgently addressed.
"However, the proposals today do give councils new opportunities to improve buses and we will be pressing councils to use them."
- 2 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 3 Andy Murray takes to Twitter to show off his Christmas jumper
- 4 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
Dublin court rules brain-dead pregnant mother's life support can be switched off
Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...