The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answers on 28th March 2023:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of how many people used public transportation supported by the Rural Mobility Fund in (1) 2018, (2) 2019, (3) 2020, (4) 2021, and (5) 2022.
Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Con): Our £20 million Rural Mobility Fund (RMF) was awarded via a competitive process in 2021. It is supporting 16 innovative, demand-led minibus trials in rural and suburban areas across 15 local authorities in England. The majority of these pilot Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) schemes have now launched, with most launching in late 2021 and over the course of 2022.
A monitoring and evaluation process is in place. We expect to publish interim findings, including on patronage, in the first half of 2023, further findings in late 2023/early 2024, and the final findings in 2025 in the form of written reports. However, the exact timings and dissemination approach will be determined closer to the time.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to tackle rural homelessness.
Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con): The Government is spending £2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the next three years. The vast majority of this funding is being provided to local authorities across England to help them end rough sleeping and reduce homelessness in their area, including in rural communities.
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