Plan to level up bus improvements across Greater Manchester, allegedly affected by 50% funding cuts.
Date published: 26 January 2022
Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams
An Oldham MP has slammed the Prime Minister, after leaked documents indicate that his promise of a £3bn fund ‘to level up buses across England towards London standards’, is being slashed by over 50%.
Oldham East and Saddleworth MP, Debbie Abrahams, reacted to the news saying: “It seems that the Prime Minister’s favourite transport policy, to ‘level up’ bus services in the North of England, is in tatters after the Treasury refuses to sign the cheques.
“The fact that Mr Johnson can promise a ‘transformational investment’ in northern bus services but have that blocked by his colleagues in No. 11 illustrates the lack of co-ordination and shared vision in this government.
“On top of this and of more immediate concern, as it could affect bus services in Oldham, is the uncertainty regarding the continuation of the Covid-19 recovery support.
“This support for bus operators is in place until the end of March, but the government has not given any guarantee that this will continue.
“Local bus routes have been cut to pieces by this Government since 2010 and, if this support funding goes, yet more communities will be left without the service they need.
“This cut, combined with the recently announced billions taken away from railway projects in the north, shows that this Government, instead of a promised levelling up, is holding communities in the north back.
“Mr Johnson promised ‘transformational investment’ but what commuters in Oldham East and Saddleworth, and the rest of the North of England, are more likely to experience is managed decline.”
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority reportedly submitted a bid to the Bus Services Improvement Plan (BSIP) for more funding, at the end of October, 2021.
It's now understood that GMCA should receive an initial response on the submission “by February”.
Do you have a story for us? Want to tell us about something going on in and around Oldham? Let us know by emailing email@example.com , calling our Oldham-based newsroom on 0161 633 2121 , tweeting us @oldhamchronicle or messaging us through our Facebook page. All contact will be treated in confidence.