WORCESTER’S Conservative MP Robin Walker has welcomed a £3.4million cash injection into bus services in the city from the Government’s £1billion worth of savings from the doomed HS2 project.
A total of £150million is being invested now across the UK while the £2 bus fare cap has also been extended across England until December 31, 2024, bringing the total investment in the cap to £600million.
The ‘Network North’ series of investments has been unveiled by the Government after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s decision to ditch the remainder of the HS2 line from Birmingham to Manchester in favour hundreds of smaller transport projects.
Some £16.6million will be sent to the West Midlands in total and transport chiefs at County Hall will be consult bus operators on how to spend the money over the next year.
The Government claims the £150million is enough to support up to 25 million miles of new bus services across the North and Midlands, helping local authorities provide more regular and reliable services or cheaper fares delivered through fare schemes and ticket price caps.
This funding comes on top of its investment of more than £3.5billion for the bus sector since March 2020 to support its recovery from the pandemic, drive improvements to local bus services and encourage more use of buses.
Mr Walker said: “Taking the bus is the most popular form of public transport, which is why the Government is right to make the long-term decision to reinvest every penny of savings from HS2 into local transport.
“The boost £3.4million of in funding for Worcester’s bus network will be transformational for people across the city and the surrounding areas, improving services and making them cheaper and more reliable.
“The announcement is only possible due to the long-term decision taken to redirect every penny of savings from HS2 in transport projects across the country – benefitting more people in more places, more quickly.”