Caroline Flint has welcomed as “a lifeline for Don Valley’s villages” the Labour pledge of new funding of £1.3billion per year to reverse cuts made to 3,000 bus routes by the Tories since 2010 and to fund the expansion of new bus services.
Said Caroline: “For too long, many of our outlying towns and villages get a second class bus service. Yet buses are essential to get people to work on early shifts and home late at night.
“Doncaster’s towns and village stand to gain from reinstating bus services. It will also reduce the risk of isolation for many elderly, and vulnerable people living in rural areas who have been totally cut off as a result of their bus services disappearing.”
This policy goes hand in hand with putting communities in control of local services by regulating and bringing local services back under public control. The MP also backed the promise of free bus fares for young people.
Over 3000 bus routes have been cut or withdrawn since 2010.
Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, 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.”
Andy McDonald MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, said:
“The Tories have neglected buses, along with the people and communities who rely on them.
“Slashing bus funding damages our communities by cutting people off from work and leisure and worsening congestion and air pollution.
“Labour is announcing an end to austerity for buses and the funding needed to transform local services to allow our towns and cities to thrive.”
The policy will be funded through Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) revenue. The Government currently raises £7 billion from VED. Labour will not raise VED, but divert £1.3 billion of this revenue to buses.