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Public Transport: Rural Areas

Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what grants his Department and its predecessor provided to subsidise public transport in rural areas in England in (a) 2001, (b) 2005 and (c) 2008; and if he will make a statement. [Official Report, 1 April 2009, Vol. 490, c. 7MC.] (250067)

The annual totals of grants paid to local authorities under the rural bus subsidy grant (RBSG) and rural bus challenge (RBC) schemes for the relevant financial years are shown in the following table.

£ million

RBSG

RBC

2001-02

41.2

12.1

2005-06

53.0

12.3

2008-091

2157.0

32.0

1 Paid to local authorities as part of their area-based grant.

2 Allocation.

3 Estimated.

In addition, local authorities support rural transport services using funds from the unhypothecated revenue support grant and local bus service operators, including those in rural areas, receive bus service operators grant from this Department.

Rural railways are funded as part of franchises covering both rural and urban areas or by grants to Network Rail which operates both rural and non rural railway. No separate figures are available for rural rail support.