pteg makes powerful cross-sector policy case for supporting buses
Bus Users fully supports pteg's recent report which shows that the bus is key to achieving 46 cross-sector policy goals across 12 of the 24 Whitehall departments including the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Treasury, Department of Health, Department for Education and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
The report, Making the connections: The cross-sector benefits of supporting bus services, points out that buses represent a huge bargain to transport policy makers in achieving a very broad range of transport, economic, environmental and social objectives.
Public funding for bus services reduces congestion for all road users, gets the workless into work, gets young people into education and training, and gets older and disabled people out of isolation.
Some of the arguments made show that bus services:
- are of vital importance to working families, connecting them to jobs, social networks, education and leisure;
- connect people to opportunities to participate in sport and to arts and cultural activities, regardless of their social or economic background;
- mean that students have more choice about where to study and can base their decisions on the courses available and the quality of the establishment, rather than the costs of getting there;
- are critical to ensure that city centres remain accessible and attractive for job creation and retention and play a key role in connecting otherwise isolated communities to employment; and
- have a role to play in minimising hospital admissions by helping people to stay independent and healthy - changes to the way bus travel is organised could offer scope for further efficiencies in patient transport.
However, the report shows that all the main forms of funding for bus services are under severe pressure and highlights that the way buses are funded is complex and does not reflect the cross-sector benefits.
Claire Walters, Chief Executive of Bus Users said: “pteg’s report is powerful in the way it joins up the dots between different policy areas and makes the case for supporting buses to so many different Government departments – not just the usual suspects.
“It is invaluable in showing that the bus helps to ensure that everybody, regardless of their background, can access the opportunities they need to move forwards and we hope that the various departments will listen to the arguments and help make passengers’ lives easier and more enriched as a result.”