The new boss of Stagecoach in Cumbria has welcomed the Government’s promise of a major cash boost for buses.
Rob Jones says the investment could help combat isolation and cut car use in the county which has some of the most remote and scattered communities in the UK.
Boris Johnson has pledged £5bn over five years to improve bus and cycling, including more frequent bus services and 4,000 zero carbon buses in England and Wales.
Rob Jones, who took over as managing director of Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire earlier this month, said: ‘This announcement is welcome recognition of the crucial role that buses play in connecting our communities, driving our regional economies and helping to meet environmental challenges.
‘Buses provide a lifeline in rural areas like Cumbria where people often have to travel some distance to reach essential facilities such as doctors, hospitals, colleges and shops not to mention jobs.
‘If the money is targeted well it could help to combat isolation and reduce car use which are both challenges faced by rural counties like Cumbria.’
The Government says it will publish a new National Bus Strategy later this year.
Mr Jones said: ‘The government’s new funding will complement the hundreds of millions of pounds of annual private sector investment by companies like Stagecoach in greener fleets and other customer improvements.
‘We look forward to working with government and our industry partners in the months ahead to shape and deliver a national strategy for buses.’
Stagecoach is the biggest bus and coach operator in Britain and Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire was named best regional operator in the UK Bus Awards last year.