Phantom lockdown causing irreparable damage to bus network warns Metro Mayor

“Irreparable damage” will be caused to the local bus service unless the government acts now said Metro Mayor Dan Norris at a meeting of the Combined Authority’s Joint Committee today.
The meeting heard how 33 bus routes are under threat across the region.
Emergency funding brought in at the start of the pandemic when passenger numbers collapsed is ending. However bus usage and so fare revenue has not recovered and Omicron threatens this further.
Attending the meeting transport campaigner David Redgewell said “Buses can’t run on fresh air” while councillor Ed Plowden warned there is a risk of a “critical downward spiral” and that “national government is the only one that can bridge the gap.”
Mayor Dan Norris reported that Transport Minister Baroness Vere had told him she “recognises the ongoing challenges faced by operators and Local Transport Authorities” but that he believed they were “warm words” but what he needed was “hard cash.”
Addressing the meeting Mayor Norris said “I fear there will be irreparable damage to our bus network unless the government acts now. I will continue to press the Government hard to do the right thing and confirm their continued funding support before irreversible decisions are taken which would be deeply disruptive to passengers and harm our ability to reach our ambitious net zero targets.”

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