London holds UK Bus Summit

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The UK Bus Summit, the first event of its kind for 15 years, was held on February 12, 2015.

The conference brought together over 300 delegates, a cross-section of industry leaders from bus operators, councils, PTEs and combined authorities, local enterprise partnerships, and lobby groups

Speaking at the event, Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, said: “We all agree buses are key to helping people get around, but we need buses that are modern, clean, reliable and easy to use.”
Four elements were highlighted as having a part to play in achieving this. First the Government, which had allocated more than £300m for major bus projects in this parliament. Second, the private sector. “I back a strong, commercial bus market,” he said.

Third, cities. The momentum for devolution to cities and to local enterprise partnerships was growing. And fourth, technology – in the form of clean buses, and integrated smartcards.

Greener Journeys claimed crucial bus services are at risk as infrastructure funding is devolved to local decision-makers without appropriate national guidance in place.

In order to help guide local decision makers on decisions related to bus infrastructure funding, Greener Journeys commissioned KPMG LLP to develop a new guide to help harness buses’ potential, which was launched at the bus summit.

Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys, said: “As the Department for Transport devolves its capital funding, it is essential that vital bus infrastructure is supported in local growth plans. Over recent years our research has time and again shown just how crucial buses are to helping people into work, driving economic growth in Britain’s towns and cities and to building cohesive and prosperous communities.”