I’m delighted that Kent is getting over £35 million to improve our local bus network.
Buses are a lifeline for so many people – whether it’s getting to work or school or heading into town to meet up with friends - so this money is very welcome news.
Kent is one of 31 places across the country to have been successful in bidding for funding from the Government’s £1.2 billion bus transformation programme.
The funding is made up of approximately £24.1 million of capital funding (e.g. for physical measures such as bus lanes and bus stops) and £11 million of revenue funding (e.g. for new or enhanced services or fare initiatives).
I’ve long argued that local bus services need to deliver better value for money with simpler and cheaper fares, clearer timetabling, and better integration with other forms of public transport. This funding is another step towards making this happen.
I know that there are challenges facing local bus services even with this new funding.
I’m very concerned about the threat to Kent County Council subsidised bus services, particularly for the routes that impact school children. I’ve raised my concerns with Shellina Prendergast, Cabinet member for Education at KCC.
A consultation is currently underway on which subsided services should be continued. I strongly encourage people to have their say.