BUS SERVICE BOOM: £2m for on-demand rural bus services in the West Midlands
The Transport Secretary has confirmed £2m for on-demand rural bus services in the West Midlands.
Transport Minister Baroness Vere has announced that the West Midlands is to receive two million pounds to improve bus services in rural areas. It will 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
Baroness Vere said, “Buses are the life-blood of our communities. They get us to work, to school and to see friends and family. Put simply, they help us make the little everyday journeys that make up our lives.
“In places where people are more dispersed, and the distance they need to travel is longer, it can be harder for traditional, timetabled bus services to truly meet their needs.
“The funding we are announcing today will give local authorities the opportunity to trial services that work better for communities – such as wheelchair-accessible minibuses that can be booked on an app on request. The schemes will help people who’ve had limited transport links for too long get to where they need to be.”
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