New £3Billion Bus Travel Government Investment Announced

Published15th March 2021 AuthorJohn Hudson

The new bus travel government investment focuses on cheaper services and sustainable travel

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a new bus travel government investment. This could help passengers benefit from more frequent, greener, cheaper, reliable and easier to use services.

The bus travel government investment is the most ambitious shake-up of the bus sector for a generation. It is backed by £3billion of investment seeing passengers benefit from better coordinated and cheaper bus services.

The changes and benefits of the new bus travel government investment include the following:

  • 4,000 new British-built electric or hydrogen-powered busses.
  • Transition regions and cities across England to emission-free buses thus safeguarding the UK bus manufacturing industry.
  • Ending the sale of diesel buses.
  • Simpler bus fares with daily price caps. This will allow passengers to use the bus as many times in a day as they need without mounting costs.
  • More services in the evening and at weekends.
  • Integrated services and ticketing across all transport modes so people can easily move from bus to train.
  • All buses to accept contactless payments.

New bus lanes will make journeys quicker, more reliable allowing for a reduction in pollution. The Prime Minister’s ten point plan suggests the acceleration of the transition to greener and more sustainable transport.

At the moment, the world is looking to recover from the impact of COVID-19 on our lives, livelihoods and economies. The government has the chance to build back better, investing in making the UK a global leader in green technologies. The new bus travel government investment will likely result in more tendering opportunities for greener and sustainable travel.

The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution focuses on the following:

  1. Advancing offshore wind
  2. Driving the growth of low carbon hydrogen
  3. Delivering new and advanced nuclear power
  4. Accelerating the shift to zero-emission vehicles
  5. Green public transport, cycling and walking
  6. ‘Jet zero’ and green ships
  7. Greener buildings
  8. Investing in carbon capture, usage and storage
  9. Protecting our natural environment
  10. Green finance and innovation.

The Ten Point Plan will mobilise £12billion of government investment. Moreover, it could potentially see three times as much invested from the private sector. This can help to create and support around 250,000 green jobs.

The pandemic led to a decline in bus passengers which saw the sector receiving significant emergency support from the government. The government will consult later this year on reforming the Bus Service Operators Grant. This is the current main stream of government bus funding, aiming to achieve the same objectives.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

Buses are lifelines and liberators, connecting people to jobs they couldn’t otherwise take, driving pensioners and young people to see their friends, sustaining town centres and protecting the environment.

As we build back from the pandemic, better buses will be one of our first acts of levelling-up.

Just as they did in London, our reforms will make buses the transport of choice, reducing the number of car journeys and improving quality of life for millions.”

Anthony Smith, chief executive of independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:

For bus passengers, today’s announcement of more frequent buses and simpler fares will be welcome news. For many, buses are a lifeline to employment, education, medical appointments and leisure, and are essential to the economy. We know that the key priorities for those considering using the bus are more services running more reliably, providing better value.

Since the pandemic, safety and cleanliness have become ever more important. We will work with bus operators and other partners to make sure passengers’ needs are at the heart of new arrangements.”

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