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Continuation of local bus services in Congleton Constituency

Volume 629: debated on Monday 9 October 2017

The petition of residents of the UK,

Declares that it is the opinion of Alsager residents, shop keepers and market traders that plans to close the 315 local bus service are ill-considered, and will have a disproportionate impact on Alsager as a whole; further that the 315 service should be retained; and further that a local petition has received 201 signatures

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to support the retaining of the 315 bus service.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Fiona Bruce , Official Report, 20 July 2017; Vol. 627, c. 1097 .]


Observations from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Jesse Norman):

I recognise the importance of public transport for both the sustainability and independence of communities. Inadequate transport provision is a very real concern and can be a barrier to the prosperity of all.

Where there is not enough demand for a bus route to be commercially viable in its own right, all local authorities in England have powers to subsidise bus services which they consider socially necessary.

The Government provides around £250 million to support bus services in England via the Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG), around £40 million of which goes direct to the local authorities who tender those services. Cheshire East Council’s share of this is £347,000. Councils can use this money to support bus services in whatever way they see fit.

I strongly encourage local authorities and bus operators to work together, in consultation with local residents and businesses, to identify the right transport solutions that meet the economic and environmental challenges faced in the area and deliver the greatest benefits for the community.