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Bus Services

Volume 673: debated on Thursday 12 March 2020

Our £220 million better deal for bus users includes measures to improve bus services in rural and urban areas. This is together with the new £5 billion fund for overhauling bus and cycle links throughout the country.

Towns such as Crook, Willington and Burnopfield in my constituency are starved of late evening and weekend bus services. What plans will the Government bring forward in the next few months to enable those areas to have better services?

As I mentioned, there is not only the £220 million fund, but the £5 billion fund, which will enable us to bring forward a comprehensive package of measures, which I hope will significantly boost Durham County Council’s current £347,000 towards the bus service operators grant.

My constituents tell me that very often buses come late or do not turn up at all. As we look to invest more in buses, what are we going to do to make sure that the companies delivering the services are doing a decent job for our residents?

My hon. Friend is right: it is really important to make these bus services work in a manner where people can just rely on them and where they do not even have to look at a timetable because the frequency is there. As part of doing that, we will be opening up bus open data powers, which will ensure that that information is transferred and available to people at bus stops and in their apps, enabling a much more frequent service to run.