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Buses

Volume 448: debated on Tuesday 11 July 2006

12. To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to increase the use of public transport by bus. (83858)

20. To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to encourage more use of public transport buses. (83866)

We are committed to seeing an increase in bus use and improving bus services.

Over the coming months I will be looking closely at the issues, to come to a decision, later in the year, about the right framework to increase and improve bus travel.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to encourage the use of public transport by bus. (83123)

Within the context of delivering our long-term strategy for improving bus services across the country, the most recent steps taken by the Government include:

Providing local authorities in England with the resources to support their Local Transport Plan strategies, a large part of which are related to improving bus-related infrastructure (some £571 million invested by local authorities between 2001-02 and 2004-05 in bus improvements);

The introduction of free local concessionary fares for older and disabled people from April 2006, and the announcement of free national concessionary fares from April 2008;

Up to £200 million per year of the Transport Innovation Fund (from 2008-09) has been made available specifically to support packages of measures that will address congestion in towns and cities through demand management and public transport improvements, including better bus services;

Allocating £20 million to fund 43 Kickstart schemes to pump-prime promising local bus services;

£54 million available for 2006-07 to support rural bus services.

Providing capital funding for major bus schemes, such as the £42 million contribution towards the Greater Bristol Bus Network scheme.

Over the coming months we will be looking at the success of these, and other initiatives, with a view to developing future plans to encourage bus use.