30 April 1998
£41.7m boost for English rural transport

By FWi staff

RURAL bus services and community-based transport schemes in England will receive an extra £41.7 million this year, the Government has announced.

The Department of Environment Transport and Regions (DETR) will distribute £32.5m to local authorities, dependent on population densities, to provide additional rural bus services.

A further £5m will be allocated later this year as part of a `bus challenge to encourage innovative local authority bus schemes.

The remaining £4.2m has been made available for community-based transport initiatives in rural areas and will be administered, on behalf of the DETR, by the Rural Development Commission.

Gavin Strang, transport minister, said: “Everyone should have the opportunity to travel by public transport. But bus services in rural areas are still a problem. One in five households in rural areas dont have access to a car during the working day. I want them to have access to a bus.”

In the Budget in March, Chancellor Gordon Brown announced new funding for rural transport of £50m a year for three years. England will receive a total of £41.7m per year, Scotland £4.5m, Wales £2.5m and Northern Ireland £1.3m.