Bus Services after the Spending Review
HC 750, Eighth Report of Session 2010-12 - Volume I: Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
- House of Commons - Transport Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
'Bus Services after the Spending Review (HC 750)' reports the Transport Committee's findings that extensive cuts to rural, evening and weekend bus services are damaging the ability of many people - especially the old, young or disabled - to participate in employment, education or voluntary work and to access vital services such as healthcare and retail facilities.
In a review of England's bus services (outside London) after the 'Spending Review 2010 (Cm. 7942)', the Committee warns that even deeper cuts in bus services are likely in 2012-13, as local authorities struggle to deal with budgetary reductions, and calls for the concessionary travel scheme to be preserved so that the elderly and disabled continue to enjoy free bus travel.
The Committee also concludes that the concessionary fares scheme was "discriminatory" because it did not apply to most community transport providers such as independent charities that provide transport like dial-a-ride bus services.
It calls on the Department for Transport (DfT) to monitor the extent of service cutbacks made this year and to review service provision again after BSOG (Bus Service Operator Grant) grant cuts take effect in 2012-13 so that it can analyse and draw conclusions about the wider costs and benefits of its policy changes to the country as a whole.
The Local Government Association should identify and disseminate information about good and bad practice in the delivery of cost effective, flexible services including community transport and/or area-based transport integration.
Local authorities and commercial operators must, the Committee states, consult more widely where services are being changed.
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