Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has shown his support for local bus services and backed calls for a National Bus Strategy at an event held in Parliament.
The event, which was held on 2nd July, was hosted by Campaign for Better Transport and Giles joined other MPs in calling on the Government to introduce a national strategy to support local buses. Such a strategy would cut air pollution, tackle loneliness, and drive economic growth. And as the most used form of public transport - three in every five journeys are made by bus - a National Bus Strategy would ensure the Government focuses on protecting and improving bus services across the country, as well as making adequate funding and support available.
Darren Shirley, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said:
“Buses are the backbone of our public transport network and communities across the country rely on them. We are calling on the Government to introduce a National Bus Strategy that will make clear how passenger numbers can be increased and services supported and developed. We’ve seen today that MPs up and down the country agree on the need for a National Bus Strategy; we welcome their support for this issue which is important to so many people.”
Katy Taylor, Commercial and Customer Director at Go-Ahead Group, a transport company backing the calls for a National Bus Strategy, said: “Buses provide access to employment and education, enable sustainable growth and help tackle loneliness and social isolation. Whilst we are seeing bus journeys increase in some parts of the country, a National Bus Strategy would enable more people to make a positive choice to take a greener form of transport.”
Speaking about the strategy, Giles said:
“Buses are vital to so many people in the Clacton constituency, connecting them to work and college, shops and services, friends and family. They have great potential to reduce congestion on our roads and clean up our air, as well as helping us meet our greenhouse gas emissions targets. But to fully realise this potential we need a National Bus Strategy, backed by central Government support, giving operators and local authorities the reassurance to grow and develop services.”