Transport secretary, Mark Harper, has announced that £150 million of redirected funding from HS2 will be put into action for local transport authorities in the North and Midlands over the next financial year.
This acts as the first part of the £1 billion in new funding to improve bus services of £770 million in the North and Nearly £230 million for the Midlands.
The newly announced £150 million will be part of the Government’s £36 billion Network North plan improving daily connections.
Local authorities will be given this funding directly to work in partnership with bus operators, deciding what is best for their area.
The Government estimates the £150 million is enough to support up to 25 million miles of new bus services. The Government has also confirmed £600 million to cap bus fares meaning the £2 fare will extend until the end of December 2024.
In Mark Harper’s written statement to parliament on October 23 he said: “With over 140 bus operators currently running more than 5,000 routes in the scheme, maintaining the cap at £2 will ensure passengers all over the country can continue to save significant sums of their regular travel costs until 2025 and help encourage more people to get on board buses.
“I am also announcing today that the government will continue to provide increased financial support to these community transport operators to help protect these key services by uplifting their bus service operator grant claims by 60%. This significant support will be available to operators for claims from 1 July 2023 to the end of March 2025, matching the duration of the BSOG+ support scheme.”