No use “improving” health service if you can’t get your bus to hospital!

“Threat to buses as councils fear £5 billion shortfall
Nearly half of all subsidised bus routes in England are under threat, the LGA has warned. Councils in England face an overall funding gap that is expected to exceed £5 billion by 2020 and are struggling to maintain current subsidies for bus routes across the country, which could leave many people isolated. The concessions come at the cost of other discretionary subsidised bus services – such as free peak travel, community transport services and post-16 school transport – and other services like collecting bins and filling potholes.

Cllr Martin Tett, the LGA’s Transport spokesman, said: “It’s nearly impossible for councils to keep subsidising free travel while having to find billions of pounds worth of savings and protect other vital services. The way the concessionary travel scheme is funded by government has not kept up with growing demand and cost. Councils are being forced to subsidise the scheme by at least £200 million a year. By giving councils control over the Bus Service Operators’ Grant, and properly funding national free bus pass schemes, the Government could help us maintain our essential bus services, reduce congestion and protect vital routes.”

LGA Resources Board Vice Chairman Cllr John Fuller discussed the story on ITV’s Good Morning Britain. LGA Vice Chairman Cllr Marianne Overton and Deputy Chairman Cllr Peter Fleming have recorded interviews for BBC local radio and Five News, respectively.

Source: Express p17, Mirror p13

One thought on “No use “improving” health service if you can’t get your bus to hospital!

  1. I have been contacted telepathically by several local politicians who have asked me to respond to this on their behalf:

    Person A: Surely everyone has a car (or a friend with a car) in order to get to hospital? Honestly, buses are so 20th century.

    Person B: I feel very strongly that the bus services should be retained and even enhanced. After all, how will the people of the Maldives get to hospital if their bus services are withdrawn?

    Person C: If people can’t get to hospital under their own steam, then it is probably too late for the medical teams to be able to help them. Perhaps your local pharmacy can help instead? Or maybe the local herbalist or witch doctor?

    Person D: The Government is committed to a strong and stable bus system, and we will be implementing an integrated, multi-service, joined-up bus-service consultation once the Brexit negotiations and transition period are complete and the economy has recovered.


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