A group of charities and NGO’s have called on the Government to protect buses from further cuts in the Spending Review.
The Buses in Crisis report from the Campaign for Better Transport claims that since 2010, £78m has been removed from local authority bus funding in England and Wales, which has resulted in over 2,400 bus services being reduced, altered or withdrawn.
The report claims that 63% of local authorities in England and Wales have cut funding for bus services in 2015/16, with 44% reducing or withdrawing services entirely.
A coalition of charities, NGOs and Trade Unions have written to the Chancellor calling on him to protect buses from any further cuts in the Spending Review. These include the Campaign for Better Transport, The Association of Colleges, NUS, The Ramblers, Independent Age and Greenpeace.
Martin Abrams, Public Transport Campaigner for Campaign for Better Transport, said: “The bus crisis across the country is now causing real hardship for many people.
“Our research shows that in many areas funding cuts have now reached new depths. Many places are being left with no bus services at all and even in better served areas our research shows continuing fare rises mean people are being priced off buses.
“Local bus services provide a vital role to the community and for some people, especially in rural areas, buses are their only means of getting to work or school, to visit friends or to access shops and public amenities.”