On 12th May the House of Lords debated a Private Notice Question from Lord Berkeley on the safety of passengers who have to use public transport to travel to and from work. The Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, asked a question about infrequent services in rural areas.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, as well as issues of safety when using public transport, many people in rural areas are worried that the already infrequent services in the countryside are now at further risk. What are Her Majesty’s Government doing to ensure that public transport will be maintained to support communities and the economy in rural areas?
Baroness Vere of Norbiton: Rural transport is absolutely key to being able to provide for more vulnerable groups who have no alternative but to use public transport so that they are able to access the services they need. The Government have already provided funding to support the services during the lockdown, and we are in discussions with the Treasury regarding supporting more services as they ramp up. As I am sure the right reverend Prelate will understand, those services will be suffering from a revenue loss, which the Government will seek to make good to ensure that rural services can be restored to what they were before.