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Bus Services: Covid-19

Volume 680: debated on Thursday 17 September 2020

Integration between all elements of public transport is critical. Will my hon. Friend bring the Minister of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Pendle (Andrew Stephenson), who has responsibility for HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, to Sedgefield to better understand the local frustrations and needs? We need to see rail investment delivered in places like Ferryhill station, where my hon. Friends could meet the team at the inspirational Cornforth Partnership to understand the need for more and better buses, particularly to better connect places like Cornforth to employment centres. They could also visit magnificent companies like Hitachi in Cleveland Bridge to understand how Government procurement processes need to better reflect their commitment to local economies as we build back better.

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. The Government recognise the importance of multi-modal integration and connecting communities such as his to employment opportunities. That is why we have made £198 million available for the transforming cities fund, which will deliver improvements to bus services, cycling and walking in County Durham. My hon. Friend the Minister will be delighted to speak to him further.