FURTHER funding to protect and increase transport services, level up infrastructure and regenerate local economies after coronavirus has been announced today.

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has announced that a further £283m has been made available to increase the number of bus and light rail services as quickly as possible so that people who need to travel, including critical workers in the NHS, can do so safely.

The funding – amounting to £254m for buses and £29m for trams and light rail – will help 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 funding will be kept under review to ensure that full services can be up and running as quickly as possible. 

In addition to the funding, 3,400 people including British Transport Police officers, Network Rail and train operator staff have been deployed at stations to advise passengers and make sure people can follow the guidance put in place.

From June 1st at the earliest, twice that many will start to be deployed with the assistance of groups like the charity Volunteering Matters.

Rail passengers across the country will also now benefit from a personalised information service to help them stagger their journeys.

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.  
  • Amending laws to reduce red tape and halve the time it takes for councils to get these schemes up and running.  
  • Committing £25million from the emergency active travel fund to help people get their bikes repaired so that they can get back to cycling.  
  • Investing £2.5million to provide 1,180 cycle parking spaces at thirty railway stations across England to help encourage people to incorporate cycling as part of a longer journey.  

The Government is also working with local authorities and private car park owners to make it easier for people commuting by car to get closer to their place of work and finish their journey on foot or by bike without the need to take public transport. Plans will focus on developing new schemes at car parks near, but not in, city centres from where drivers could collect a bike – or use their own.