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Councils ‘cut 90% of bus services since 2020’

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Councils ‘cut 90% of bus services since 2020’

More than 90% of council-run bus services have been cut across England since 2010, according to research.

Analysis by the i newspaper said a combined 16 million miles of bus routes had vanished up to March 2023 across the 10 worst-affected areas, which are topped by Cumbria and Hull.

The other areas which have seen the highest percentage of council services cut – ranging from 95 to 98%, according to the i’s analysis – were Stoke-on-Trent, Portsmouth, Southampton, Nottingham, Stockton-on-Tees and Slough.

Mike Ross, the Lib Dem leader of Hull City Council, said cuts in funding has seen the city lose more than £131 million since 2010.

He told the i there had been no cuts to bus services in the past year and the council was looking to make investment.

The research said the north of England has seen a 32% cut in services, counting both council and commercial, compared to an average across England of 22%.

The figures were labelled “absolutely staggering” by Dr Tom Jarvis, principal researcher at Transport for the North (TfN).

“The local authority supported services have pretty much disappeared since 2010,” he told the i.

“People are being left very constrained. They are pretty much reliant on others for lifts, or they get taxis when they can afford them.”

He described the findings of a TfN survey, which said people were cutting back on food and utilities to pay for a car or stuck in their homes, as “really, really stark”.

TfN published a blueprint for a transport infrastructure on Monday which called for “efforts to reduce car dependency and create the capacity required to grow patronage on our public transport networks”.

Among the other aims outlined in the Strategic Transport Plan was reducing social exclusion by one million people by 2050.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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