Using Freedom of Information requests, the report found that local authority bus budgets in England and Wales were cut by £20.5 million over the last year during the eighth consecutive year of budget cuts. The former chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport, Stephen Joseph, wrote: ‘The lack of affordable public transport affects wider Government policies. It stops people getting access to training and jobs. It makes access to healthy food in shops more difficult…So cuts in bus services add to poverty and social exclusion, and to isolation and loneliness.’
The Campaign for Better Transport has called for a national funding strategy but the Government believes local councils are best placed to make decisions on bus services and has devolved £43 million of the Bus Services Operators Grant to local authorities.
→ Yorkshire Post - Feature - 'Crisis' on the buses
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