East Riding bus miles drop by 11% new figures show

Councillors must take buses back into public control says union
Councillors must take buses back into public control says union

The miles covered by the East Riding of Yorkshire’s buses fell by one-ninth last year, new figures reveal.

Campaigners and council chiefs have blamed rising car use, congestion and cuts to transport funding for England’s bus mileage dwindling to its lowest level in more than three decades.

In the East Riding of Yorkshire, buses clocked up 3.6 million miles in 2018-19, the latest Department for Transport statistics show – down 11% from the year before.

The local authority subsidised 19% of these journeys last year, with the rest run by private companies for profit.

People older than 65 and those with a disability are legally entitled to free bus passes for off-peak travel.

But with cash-strapped councils spending less and ditching discretionary items such as supported rural services, the Local Government Association warns that nearly half of the country’s bus routes face the chop.

Calling local bus services a “lifeline for our most vulnerable residents”, a spokesman for the association said more needs to be done to tackle the network’s “spiralling decline”.

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: “This Government has committed to improving and expanding bus services – and this is exactly what we intend to do.”