A further £283million has been made available by government to increase the number of bus and light rail services so that people who need to travel can do so safely. The funding – amounting to £254m for buses and £29m for trams and light rail – is designed to protect and increase services, allowing people travelling to hospitals, supermarkets or their place of work to get to their destination safely and quickly, while helping ensure there is enough space for them to observe social distancing guidelines.
The government continues to advise the public only to use public transport if they have no other option, however.
To make it easier for people to choose alternatives to public transport, a series of measures are being rolled out to encourage more people to cycle instead, including allocating local authorities a share of £225million, announced earlier this month, to create pop-up and permanent cycle lanes and reallocate road space, and amending laws to reduce red tape and halve the time it takes for councils to get these schemes up and running.
In addition, £25million from the emergency active travel fund is being allocated to help people get their bikes repaired so that they can get back to cycling.
“To make sure people can travel safely when they need to, we are increasing capacity on buses and light rail, as well as helping local authorities fast-track plans to support cyclists and pedestrians, further reducing pressure on our transport network,” says transport secretary Grant Shapps.