Following Jeremy Corbyn’s focus on cuts to local bus services at today’s Prime Minister’s Questions, Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, has called on the Conservatives to stop their “onslaught of cuts” to bus services, particularly rural services, following the publication of a report by the Campaign for Better Transport this week, entitled “Buses in Crisis“. The report shows that spending on buses has been nearly halved in Cambridgeshire since the Tory-Lib Dem Government came in in 2010; spending has dropped from £3,123,395 then to £1,770,262 in the 2018/19 budget
Mr Zeichner said: “These ongoing cuts to rural bus services have a huge effect on the city of Cambridge. Hard-working people are forced to live further out of Cambridge due to the housing crisis, and extortionate rents and house prices – they are then forced to drive in for work due to the poor bus services. This really is a double edged sword of austerity. The Conservatives have chosen to cut these services which then in turn increase congestion, air pollution and road surface damage. These cuts really hit the most vulnerable hardest too.”
“The Conservatives have shown themselves to be unfit to run transport services, from their appalling rail record, to more locally, with the charge for the park and ride carpark which I successfully fought to reverse with Labour colleagues on the city and county councils. This has already made a difference to people using the park and ride – we need better bus services to make this more accessible. The Conservative Mayor, James Palmer, has failed to stop more services being cut – we are over a year into his mayoralty, and I can’t see that he’s achieved anything. It’s time he stopped delaying, and uses the bus franchising powers at his disposal to sort out services across the county”
Research from the report shows that a net reduction in funding of £20.2 million has been made to supported bus services in England in 2017-18. This is a 9 per cent reduction since 2016-17. 45 bus routes reduced or withdrawn in the East of England in 2017/18.
The report shows that there has been a net reduction of £172 million since 2010 from supported bus services in England, a reduction of 46 per cent.