Redirected HS2 funding to improve local bus services

Local bus services in the North and the Midlands are set to receive £150 million of funding redirected from HS2.

Transport secretary Mark Harper made the announcement, which is the first tranche of £1 billion in new funding to improve bus services.

The funding will go directly to local authorities so that they can work in partnership with bus operators to decide how best to use it to deliver better services that meet the needs of each local area.

The money can be used to reintroduce evening services to support the night-time economy, cheaper fares through ticket price caps, increase service frequency meaning less waiting time for passengers, or introduce new routes to connect previously unconnected areas.

The government believes that the funding is enough to support up to 25 million miles of new bus services.

The £2 bus fare cap is being extended across England until the end of December 2024 - again using money from HS2.

The government will also be providing increased financial support for community transport operators to help protect the services by uplifting their bus service operator grant claims by 60 per cent.

Harper said: "Taken together, this is one of the biggest ever packages of support for buses and bus users we have put in place – vital support for our most used public transport."

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