Eight areas in the Northwest of England are set to receive a share of £15 million for bus services Transport Minister Sadiq Khan has announced.
The Kickstart programme offers financial backing for Passenger Transport Authorities to help launch new or improved services, with the focus on getting more people travelling on buses as well as improving accessibility.
Residents in Stockport, Oldham, Bolton, Salford, Tameside, Wigan, Manchester, Rochdale, Morecambe and Lancaster are all set to benefit from a £2.1milion aggregate share of this second round of Kickstart grants.
Sadiq Khan said: “Local bus services are the backbone of our transport system and can provide a vital lifeline for communities. We have already strengthened powers for local authorities to improve bus services and regularly invest in local transport schemes which help make bus travel an attractive alternative to the car – cutting congestion and bringing benefits for the environment.
“But some bus services which could provide an important transport link might not always be commercially attractive from the outset. That is why we launched the Kickstart scheme and why I am delighted to announce funding for Greater Manchester and Lancashire in this latest round of grants. This will help fund new a improved bus routes, ensuring local people get the services they need.”
Kickstart is targeted at schemes which have the potential to become successful but which initially might be more marginal in commercial terms and require so financial help to start them off.
Projects which aim to increase bus patronage – leading to a reduction in congestion and benefits to the environment – as well as to improve accessibility and social inclusion were selected for Kickstart funding.
This round of grants also focused on schemes which make use of the new bus powers in the Local Transport Act 2008. Good practice on the use of these new powers will then be shared with other local authorities and operators.
Source: COI Northwest