A £220 million investment has been announced by the Government to transform and improve bus services throughout England.
Bus networks are a vital part of the local community, allowing people to travel to see relatives, access GP surgeries and visit the high street. This is the same nationwide with a third of all city and town centre spending coming from bus passengers, contributing £64 billion to the economy every year.
A new ‘Superbus’ network will be launched, expanding low emission bus usage. Bus networks will be fortified to ensure that communities are not left behind as a result of declining bus usage.
The National Bus Strategy will be launched to ensure passengers get the best experience and value for money possible. £50 million will also be made available to develop the first all-electric-bus town network.
The fund will also help local authorities to partner with bus companies. With local authorities constructing more bus lanes, bus companies will run more frequent and higher quality services at lower fares.
Locally, Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has campaigned to expand the Eclipse Bus Scheme. In 2017 the Department for Transport’s Productivity Investment Fund awarded £6.9 million to the Bus Rapid Transport project to extend it from Tichborne Way to Rowner Road. An amended planning application to provide a safer route for this extension was approved in Spring 2019.
Commenting on the announcement, Caroline Dinenage MP said:
“This fund is a great opportunity for Gosport, Lee on the Solent, Stubbington and Hill Head’s bus networks to be reinvigorated, hopefully helping to take pressure off Gosport’s famously congested roads.
“By increasing frequency and quality of services, local economy will benefit greatly with increased access to the high street. Not only this, bus passengers will have greater convenience and better value for their journeys.”