June 10 2024

Responding to the Liberal Democrat manifesto Graham Vidler, CEO at the Confederation of Passenger Transport said today,  

“It is good to see the Liberal Democrats recognise the importance of bus services to rural communities. In its bus manifesto CPT has called on the next government to create a simple statutory definition of essential bus services and to provide the funding for local authorities to deliver them. We need a national solution to ensure people in rural areas and small towns can take the bus to work and participate fully in their community.   

“Supporting bus fares for young people is also a valuable way to promote the benefits of bus travel and embed sustainable long term travel habits. 



Notes for editors 

CPT’s manifesto for bus Driving Britain Forward was published in January 2024. This sets out six key priorities  including a call for the next government to deliver a five-year spending plan for buses (as happens in rail) since - regardless of the regulatory model - without a stronger focus on sustained investment it won’t be possible to meet bus passenger priorities (more services going to more places that are also more reliable and more swift).  

Some bus services cannot be run on a commercial basis, so CPT believes the Government needs to fund councils to support essential lifeline services - over half (56%) of which have been lost since 2009/10 due to cuts in local government funding. 

CPT believes the transition to a zero-emissions bus fleet is a huge opportunity for Britain to lead the world in creating a modern zero emission bus network that offers a growing number of passengers one of the most sustainable forms of transport. Government should therefore the next government should announce a five year £1 billion investment programme to leverage more private sector investment in new vehicles and put us on track to a zero emission fleet by the middle of the next decade. 

CPT and its members are also committed to work that will integrate bus, rail and light rail ticketing systems (so a daily fare cap could in time be introduced anywhere in the country for people taking several trips per day). Currently bus operators are working collaboratively on Project Coral with West Midlands Combined Authority to procure the technology to enable contactless capped multi-operator bus ticketing that could be rolled out in any area that wants it across the country. It is anticipated that once multiple operator bus ticketing is achieved, the same technology will be extended to include other transport modes.