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Public Transport: Leicestershire

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 20001, tabled on 24 February 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on improving public transport links in Leicestershire.

Answered on

3 March 2020

Ministers and officials from DfT and HMT meet regularly to discuss a wide range of issues. The Government’s £220 million Better Deal for Bus Users package provides new funding to transform bus services and includes a National Bus Strategy, which will detail measures to improve bus services. £20 million of this is to support demand responsive services in rural and suburban areas. The package also includes an extra £30 million for local authorities in 2020/21.

If Leicestershire County Council complete statements of intent demonstrating how they will meet the funding requirements, it will be provided with an additional allocation of £556,627. This would be in addition to the £534,721 Leicestershire County Council received in 2018/19 from the annual Bus Service Operators Grant

More widely, the Government also announced £5billion of new funding on 11th February to overhaul bus and cycle links outside London. This investment will support measures to boost bus services including higher frequency services, new priority schemes to make routes more efficient, more affordable simpler fares and at least 4,000 new Zero Emission Buses. Leicestershire may be open to benefit from this.

Furthermore, East Midland Railway’s (EMR) December 2020 timetable consultation, which has just closed, sought passenger and stakeholders view on changes to services. The changes focussed on EMR’s Midland Main Line services with proposals for Leicester which included more services, faster journey times and at consistent departure times throughout the day to and from London St Pancras International. EMR is now in the process of reviewing the feedback to help to form their December 2020 timetable. The majority of changes on EMRs Regional services which serve Leicester will happen in December 2021, and EMR plan to consult with passengers and stakeholders later this year on those changes.