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Economy Economy

Support community minibuses for rural areas

Last updated: 08:18pm 13 November 2019

We will invest in more low-emission buses, as well as supporting audio-visual displays for bus passengers and community minibuses for rural areas poorly served by public transport.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.24

Our verdict

In 2016, citizens living in rural areas and using public transport faced an average minimum commute time of one hour to reach the nearest hospital, with other key services including food stores, jobs and schools also within an hour. Conversely, citizens in urban areas were able to access hospitals, jobs and other public services in about half that time. This prompted the then government to start the Community Transport Minibus Fund in 2014, continued to April 2017. This policy is a promise to support community minibuses for rural areas poorly served by public transport, so we would expect to see at the very least a continuation of the Community Transport Minibus Fund.

Since the allocation of funds to successful bidders in April 2017, we can find no evidence that the government is working to support more community minibuses for local areas. There was a mention of a “Community Bus Fund” in the Inclusive Transport Strategy, published in 2018, but it is spoken of in the past tense and there is no record of government seeking bidders for the fund after April 2017.

With no evidence of support or investment in community minibuses for rural areas, this policy is ‘not started’.

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