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Final £150m DfT funding pot supports local transport Covid recovery

The funding represents the final tranche of pandemic-related support to operators and will run for six months until October 2022

01 March 2022


Bus and light rail operators across England will benefit from over £150m of government support, ensuring services continue to run and millions of passengers can continue to get around as the country emerges from the pandemic.

The funding package announced on 1 March builds on almost two years’ worth of government support to keep bus and light rail networks running, with around £2bn made available to over 160 operators during the pandemic.

This represents the final tranche of pandemic-related support to operators and will run for 6 months until October 2022.

Key points:

  • Over £150m has been provided to safeguard local transport services as the country emerges from the pandemic

  • Funding will help local bus and light rail services across the country as millions of passengers return to the network.

  • Funding builds on unprecedented government support for buses and light rail throughout the pandemic

  • New deal ensures services will continue running as operators and local authorities work towards a sustainable future

  • More details on the allocation of this funding will be provided in due course

Not only will this new funding support operators and authorities as they adapt to changing travel patterns – it will also help the continued delivery of enhanced partnerships, with local authorities working closely with bus companies to draw on their operating knowledge and marketing skills.

Representatives from Passenger and Littlepay will be speaking at the Landor Links webinar, ‘Improving the Passenger Experience with Contactless Journeys’, part of the Public Transport Recovery series, alongside a speaker from The Go-Ahead Group and Transport Focus on Wednesday 2nd March @ 12.30 - 13.30. Free registration here

Additionally, it will support local authorities and operators across England as they continue working on bus service improvement plans and delivering substantive improvements to local services.

This additional package will help millions of passengers get around as they return to the network.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The funding I’ve announced today will ensure millions of us can continue to use vital public transport services and brings the total we’ve provided to the sector to keep services running throughout the pandemic to over £2bn.

“Not only that – as we look ahead and continue our work to overhaul services and build back better from the pandemic, this funding will also help authorities and operators work together to provide even better services for people right across the country.

“The government is investing over £3 billion in bus services by 2025, including £1.2bn to improve fares, services and infrastructure, and a further £525 million for zero emission buses."

Graham Vidler, Chief Executive of the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), said: “This welcome funding will help operators have the certainty they need to run an extensive network of services over the coming months as we all adjust to life after the pandemic.

“In the longer term, the bus network will need to adapt to meet passengers’ new travel patterns. Over the coming months, operators will be working closely with local authorities to plan future bus networks and introduce plans to grow passenger numbers. To aid these local efforts we look forward to working with the government to loudly promote bus travel.

“This funding is dependent on local areas and operators co-designing a financially sustainable and passenger-focused public transport network, that works for changing travel patterns post-pandemic.”

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