Labour promise to reinstate 3000 cancelled bus routes

The Labour Party say they will spend £1.3bn every year to reinstate over 3000 bus routes that have ended since 2010, should they win the next General Election.

They say bringing back lost bus services will provide a lifeline to the vulnerable, reconnect communities as well as helping to combat air pollution.

Labour has previously said they will try to bring bus services back into public ownership as well as giving free bus travel for young people.

Last year, Theresa May sparked outrage after blaming councils and ‘changing work habits’ for the closure of bus routes, despite some local authorities seeing an almost 50% cut in funding since 2010.

Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, and Andy McDonald, Shadow Transport Secretary, will announce the new funding on a visit today to Nottingham where the Labour council holds an 82% stake in Nottingham City Transport, the city’s largest bus operator.

Jeremy Corbyn said: ‘Bus services have been devastated by nine years of austerity. Thousands of routes have been axed, fares have soared and passenger numbers are in freefall.

‘Local services are a lifeline for many, particularly the elderly and those in rural areas. Cuts have had disastrous consequences for our towns and city centres and for air pollution and the environment.

‘Bus networks are essential for towns and cities and for tackling rural poverty and isolation, which is why Labour is committed to creating thriving bus networks under public ownership.’

Jeremy Corbyn in 2018. Photo credit – Sophie Brown.

Tom Fyans, deputy chief executive at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), said the investment would be able to reconnect communities and reduce rural communities reliance on cars.

‘As the number of post offices, pubs and village stores closing down continues to rise, communities across the countryside are becoming more and more reliant on local bus services,’ he said.

‘The fact that these have disappeared at rate just as fast as local shops and services over recent years has made rural life increasingly difficult for many people, particularly for those on low incomes.

‘With proper funding in rural bus services, we have an opportunity to reconnect communities with the amenities that they depend on, reduce car dependency and carbon emissions, making our market towns, villages and countryside safer, cleaner and more attractive places to live, work and visit.’