Express & Star

New routes and cheaper fares on way in PM’s £3 billion bus revolution

The biggest ever shake-up of Britain's bus network will see new routes and bus lanes and caps on ticket prices, the Prime Minister has announced.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to the National Express depot in Coventry

During a visit to the West Midlands Boris Johnson said his £3 billion plan will make buses across the country cheaper and easier to use, with more services enabling passengers to "turn up and go".

Daily price caps will be introduced so that people can use the bus as many times a day as they need to, extra services will be put on at evenings and weekends, and contactless payments will be accepted.

The plan will also see 4,000 zero-emissions buses launched and an end to diesel bus sales.

Mr Johnson, who made the announcement at the National Express depot in Coventry, said: "Buses are lifelines and liberators, connecting people to jobs they couldn’t otherwise take, driving pensioners and young people to see their friends, sustaining town centres and protecting the environment."

The Department for Transport said it hopes to meet its targets through so-called enhanced partnerships that will see local authorities agree to make improvements to infrastructure in return for better services from bus companies.

Ignacio Garat, group chief executive of National Express, said: “The strategy comes at a vital time, and we fully embrace the proposals for operators to work in partnership with local authorities to deliver cleaner, greener services that meet the needs of customers who are increasingly turning to public transport for their daily journeys."

The strategy has been welcomed by Wrightbus head Jo Bamford, who plans to have 200 hydrogen buses on the streets of Birmingham in time for next summer's Commonwealth Games.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, said the strategy appeared to “lack ambition”.