Stockport Greens urge government to prevent 'meltdown' of bus services

2 March 2022

Stockport Greens have called on the government to extend the Bus Recovery Grant to prevent a ‘meltdown’ in services. The grant has provided support for bus operators impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in England, but is due to end on 31st March. However, with passenger numbers still on average 30% lower than pre-Covid levels the loss of the grant is predicted to affect around a third of bus routes in Greater Manchester

Spokesperson Liz Crix, who has written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak about this issue, said: “Bus services face meltdown unless operators continue to receive the Bus Recovery Grant to help them retain services and continue to build back passenger numbers after the pandemic. Many of our bus services provide vital connections to shops, hospitals, business parks, schools and colleges. If there are severe service cuts, as predicted, the old and the young, villages and estates, will be left isolated.” 

Greater Manchester has started the process to become the first city region outside London to bring buses back under public control. Liz Crix added: “We welcome this move as private bus operators are driven by profit. This has put the interests of shareholders above passengers and resulted in poor pay and working conditions for drivers and an emphasis on only the most profitable routes. We will press the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to speed up the process, but the most urgent priority is for the continuation of the government support grant to avoid damaging cuts” 



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