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Highland Bus Services: Net Zero Target

Volume 693: debated on Thursday 29 April 2021

What discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on increasing bus services in the highlands to help achieve the UK’s net zero target. (914907)

Responsibility for bus services is a devolved matter. My Department engages with the devolved Administrations, including in Scotland, on issues with bus services all the time.

I live near an Asda store. Many of the people who work there, who are friends of mine, would like to use the local bus services to get to work, but the timetables do not work. Equally, I have people living in Caithness who are disabled, who would like to use the buses to Inverness more, but the disabled facilities are not what they should be. I have made representations to the Scottish Government and to the bus company, Stagecoach, but to no avail. I realise, of course, that transport is devolved, but what advice can the Secretary of State offer me to try to sort this wretched problem out?

The hon. Gentleman is quite right that this is a devolved matter, but there are Barnett consequentials, so there is quite a lot of money coming through, particularly from the “Bus Back Better” plan. He is also right to be concerned, as I have been, about the level of bus services and threatened cuts across Scotland, including by First Bus in Glasgow and Stagecoach in Stirling. I encourage him to work hard to highlight these issues and remind the Scottish Government that they have a lot of money for buses coming through as a result of Barnett consequentials.