An overall £490 million cash increase in the UK’s vital transport network will help businesses, people and goods travel around the country. This includes £200m extra funding to make buses more environmentally friendly, rail track maintenance to ensure more reliable journeys, and continued support for development of major projects.
“Today we put the wheels back on the Great British bus,” announced the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, during his autumn spending review.
Javid, whose father is a former bus driver, announced a £200m of increased funding “to transform bus services, making best use of technology and promoting decarbonisation”. The announcement included a mention of trialling “on-demand services”.
Further details are unknown at present, but ‘on-demand service’ trials are already in the offing in London. Confederation of Passenger Transport Chief Executive Graham Vidler said: “This is welcome news for bus passengers. Bus operators have been investing hundreds of millions in creating the most environmentally friendly fleet the UK has ever had and this funding will allow for further investment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and improve air quality.
“We look forward to engaging on further trials for on demand services, many of which are already taking place. These services have the potential to be part of the solution to innovative and sustainable transport models in less well connected areas.
“However, to get more people onto buses we need to also tackle the issue of congestion and unpredictable journey times, which is the number one reason people do not take the bus. This requires a greater focus on putting bus first in local transport networks.”
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