The future of the bus sector post-Bus Back Better

12 August 2021 #Uncategorised

Some five months on since the publication of government’s strategy for buses, we have to ask: is this three year plan sufficient to help reinvigorate our bus sector? This week the recently launched ZEBRA scheme has progressed a further 17 bids to the second stage – a total of now 23 LTAs will compete for a portion of the £120m pot allocated by DfT for the scheme.

Predictably this points to a wider issue that the government’s strategy is yet to address on its own. Funding and infrastructure decisions need to made as location-neutral as possible, so that more rural areas can benefit in equal measure, especially as the prime minister’s 4,000 zero-emission buses promise hangs in the air.

SMMT is committed to working with government to deliver on Bus Back Better, and to ensure our bus sector recovers in the longer term. Looking beyond the impact of the pandemic on public transport and addressing depleting bus ridership should be a key objective.

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