The new report from the County Councils Network (CCN) and the County All-Party Parliamentary Group revealed that while funding declined by £233 million between 2009 and 2019, costs rose by £115 million due to population increases.
The report calls on the Government not to overlook counties in its forthcoming bus investment strategy. Peter Aldous, chairman of the County All-Party Parliamentary Group, said: 'The inquiry that informed this report showed the devastating impact on rural and remote communities of services that councils could no longer afford to subsidise.
Whilst passenger numbers have declined across England, services in counties are operating at minimum levels and any reduction in services hits those who are elderly and disadvantaged the hardest.’ With increased focus on public transport in cities, the campaigners fear the needs of rural areas could be ignored.
County leaders and MPs say that bus route changes and closures have had a ‘devastating’ impact on those who are elderly or disadvantaged, alongside adversely impacting the employment and health prospects of people.
Transport Network - Funding gap 'devastates' rural bus services
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