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Johnson promises extra £1bn a year for buses and cycling

21 February 2020

Boris Johnson has promised a huge cash injection for bus services and cycling across England. 

The Prime Minister’s promise of £5bn of additional funding over five years for the two modes was part of a wider transport statement that also featured the go-ahead for HS2.

Buses and cycling were the two modes that most interested Johnson during his time as London mayor. 

He said the bus funding will deliver:  

  • at least 4,000 zero emission buses
  • higher frequency services (including evenings and weekends) 
  • more affordable, simpler fares
  • bus priority schemes 

The cycling funding will deliver:

  • more than 250 miles of high quality separated cycle routes
  • dozens of ‘Mini-Holland’ schemes to make town centres safer for cyclists and pedestrians

The capital funding for buses will be split between a zero emission bus scheme for operators and a bus priority infrastructure programme for local authorities.

Johnson said the buses would be “British-built” and would appear on the streets of “Ashfield, Barnstaple, Southampton, Manchester and many more towns and cities besides.”

The Zero Emission Bus scheme will be open to operators in England and Wales but the rest of the expenditure will be for England-only, though all three devolved administrations stand to benefit from the Barnett consequentials of the announcement. 

More details of the bus programme will be announced in the upcoming National Bus Strategy, to be published at the Comprehensive Spending Review. The funding is additional to the £170m announced earlier this month (LTT 07 Feb).

Johnson said that, “in the first instance”, £350m of the £5bn would be spent on cycling. It will be a mix of capital and revenue. It will be allocated to towns and cities with well-developed plans for cycling and walking networks, such as those set out in Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs). Further details will be announced in due course.

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