Fall in bus usage shows need for reform and investment

Local Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop has today (11th January 2016)n condemned government cuts to bus services after official figures released by the Department for Transport  showed that in Redcar and Cleveland 27% fewer bus journeys were made in 2014-15 compared with 2009-10 – the biggest decline in England.

Commenting on the news Tom Blenkinsop said:
“For many people across Redcar and Cleveland buses are a vital part of their daily lives –  helping them to get to work, attend doctors’ appointments or collecting the weekly shop. But this decline in bus usage is very concerning and doesn’t seem to have an end.

“Unfortunately, we effectively have one operator that runs a monopoly bus service in Redcar and Cleveland and they have systematically removed bus routes that local people have relied on for years.

“Compounding this is the cuts to local government funding which means less funding is available for supported bus services. These routes are often the ones people and communities need most, where no alternative transport exists.

“To halt the decline we need to see, as part of the Government’s Buses Bill, powers given to communities to plan fares, routes and timetables and investment to reflect local needs.”

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