MORE than £41 million of vital funding to help improve bus services across the county has been confirmed.
Conservative-run East Sussex County Council has received confirmation from Government that it will receive £41,415,025 to implement its Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) – proposals to help the council and bus operators improve services and increase the use of public transport.
The funding, which will benefit people in every part of the county, will support;
- Bus priority improvements including physical infrastructure and traffic light priority
- Bus service improvements including fixed route and timetabled services and flexible services with improved frequencies, later evening services and improved weekend services
- Fare reductions
- Bus Stop improvements including the provision of high-quality interchanges, more and improved bus shelters and more real time information at stops
Conservative councillor Claire Dowling, lead member for transport and environment, said: “We made an extremely ambitious funding bid to the Department for Transport and I am delighted that we have managed to secure this funding allocation - the highest per head for a rural authority.
“The funding enables us to invest in infrastructure, provide more bus services and reduce the cost of fares across the county.”
She added: “There are many benefits to bus travel, including reducing congestion, contributing to better air quality and decarbonisation, and we are working hard to ensure we maximise the funding we have been allocated and take full advantage of all of the benefits that can be delivered.”
Ahead of funding being confirmed, and to take full advantage of the summer season, the county council agreed to fund a range of fare reductions for bus passengers that were part of the BSIP proposals.
A number of operators across East Sussex already offer discounts including a new £5 East Sussex single operator day ticket, family and group travel tickets and an off-peak unaccompanied young person £1 flat single fare tickets.
With the two-and-a-half year funding allocation now confirmed, officers will progress with the delivery of the BSIP schemes at pace to ensure that the benefits are obtained by the residents of East Sussex as early as possible.