Harlow’s Member of Parliament, Robert Halfon, has written to the Leader of Essex County Council, urging them to use almost £5 million of newly announced funding from the Conservative Government to protect bus routes in Harlow.
The Conservative Government have invested another £80 million to protect essential bus services across the country, including £4,890,976 of funding for bus routes in Essex. This is in addition to the £80 million of funding earlier this year, and the £1 billion investment provided for bus services in 2022.
To help people with the cost of living and save on everyday travel costs, the Conservative Government has also invested £200 million to extend the bus fare cap, with single bus tickets capped at £2 outside London until the end of October 2023 and then at £2.50 until 30 November 2024.
The £2 fare cap has cut travel costs, particularly in rural areas, where buses are crucial for so many people to get around. These measures take total Conservative Government support to protect and improve bus services while keeping fares low to £3.5 billion since 2020.
Commenting, Mr Halfon said: “Many people rely on bus services across Harlow, to get to work, school, or to see family and friends. This funding worth almost £5 million will protect essential services across Essex and enhance transport connections, supporting people to get where they need to go with public transport they can rely on.
“However, I know that for too long, residents from Harlow and the villages have been let down by unreliable bus services, delays and cancellations and the removal of key routes across our town, such as the Number 9 to Potter Street. That’s what I have written to Cllr Bentley in light of the newly announced funding to impress upon him the importance of protecting and improving Harlow’s buses.”
Announcing the new funding, Roads Minister Richard Holden MP said: “Buses are the most popular form of public transport and millions of people across the country from the Tees Valley to Torbay rely on their local service to get to work, attend medical appointments and see loved ones.
“We are providing a further £80 million to help local authorities improve and protect essential services, delivering for local communities across the country by enhancing transport connections, supporting passengers and growing the economy.”