Government Announces Additional £130m to Protect England’s Bus Services

Further funding is available to help commercial or community bus services in England (outside of London and Greater Manchester) to continue running buses when their revenues have reduced following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bus services across England are set to benefit from up to £130 million of additional government support, ensuring services keep running and passengers can continue using affordable transport.

The Bus Recovery Grant (BRG) was established to support commercial bus operators in England, owing to the ongoing impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) on their revenue from reduced patronage. The new funding package will cover six months, from October 2022 to March 2023.

The additional funding is intended to protect bus services and routes, which are particularly important to people facing pressures due to the rising cost of living.

Public bus operators running commercial or community bus services in England (outside of the London and Greater Manchester areas) may make a claim. They must have already completed an application to join the scheme. Operators must currently be running at 90% or more of pre-COVID-19 mileage levels.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

‘This funding will ensure millions across the country can continue to use vital bus services, and brings the total we’ve provided to the sector throughout the pandemic to almost £2 billion.

‘At a time when people are worried about rising costs, it’s more important than ever we save these bus routes for the millions who rely on them for work, school and shopping.’

Operators should claim the BRG for each four-week period.

(This report was the subject of a GRANTfinder Newsflash.)