The Combined Authority welcomes extension of the bus grant
The Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority has welcomed news that the Department for Transport will be extending the Bus Recovery Grant (BRG) for us for at least a further 6 months, until the end of the financial year. This follows extensive lobbying by the Combined Authority and Cambridgeshire councils, and also the other 60% of English local authority areas who would otherwise have had their Government bus funding cut to zero from the end of September.
While the extension is welcome, it is not a long-term solution for hundreds of our local bus routes that need more time to recover from COVID, and thousands of our residents and workers who depend on buses to get about, particularly in rural Cambridgeshire. We badly need them to announce ASAP that all areas particularly those like us with isolated rural communities will receive 2023 and 2024 bus funding, not just this stopgap measure. Meanwhile, we are in regular contact with our bus operators, such as Stagecoach, and we will work with them to make the case for proper support, to build bus usage back after it fell to near nil during COVID.
Our bus network is vital for so many of our residents across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, in addressing isolation, enabling inclusion and supporting access to work, education and shopping. We are hoping this extension of the BRG will enable our current bus network to be maintained.