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Rural Support

Volume 454: debated on Thursday 14 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what programmes of support his Department makes available to rural areas; and what the financial cost is expected to be in 2007-08. (104910)

The Department provides funding for rural transport through the Rural Bus Subsidy Grant (RBSG) paid to local authorities in England based on numbers living in rural areas. The cost in 2007-08 will be £55.6 million.

It is estimated that over £4 million will be paid to authorities in 2007-08 in respect of Rural Bus Challenge projects and Kickstart bus schemes in rural areas.

Bus services in rural areas also benefit from the Department’s Bus Service Operators Grant, paid to operators of local bus services in both urban and rural areas. The proportion of this grant going to operators in rural areas is not separately recorded.

The Department allocates about £1.6 billion per year to urban and rural authorities to deliver their local transport plans. Depending on local priorities, an element of this will be spent on rural areas.

The majority of this Department’s other programmes benefit both rural and urban areas. However, to provide information on the cost of these programmes in rural areas alone is not possible.