ACRE signs joint letter to Chancellor to support bus funding
by Claire McGine, Head of Communications

ACRE is one of the 25 national organisations that have asked the Chancellor, George Osborne MP to undertake an urgent review of bus funding in England to provide long term support for these essential services.

Leading rural body ACRE is concerned about cuts to bus services across the country increasing isolation in rural areas.

ACRE Chief Executive, Janice Banks said that ’’Buses are a key transport option to allow jobseekers to get to work, to allow youngsters to participate in sports and other social activities and they are an essential means of transportfor access to medical and other appointments. People in rural areas without access to a car need affordable transport solutions that deliver them to a range of important services and support a social life’’.

"The current decline in bus services is to the great detriment of the diverse communities that rely upon them and should not be permitted to continue"

Only 42% of households in the most rural areas have a regular bus service – compared with 96% of urban households, while rural dwellers travel 10,000 miles each year compared with 6,400 by their urban counterparts’’.

Ms Banks went on to say that “Rural communities have an important role in revitalising the national economy but this needs support and co-ordination. As one of the signatories to this letter to Mr Osborne, we would welcome recognition of the important role that bus services can play in supporting economic growth’’.

Ms Banks concluded that “As part of this group of national bodies, ACRE is calling for interim financial support and a prompt review of bus funding. The current decline in bus services is to the great detriment of the diverse communities that rely upon them and should not be permitted to continue’’.

Note: The Campaign for Better Transport approached the organisations that signed the letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne MP. For further information please see its “blog of 11 March”:http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/blogs/bus/The_Chancellor_must_give_buses_the_funding_they_need_and_deserve