I have welcomed news of continuing funding support for local buses in East Kent. The news comes following the call on Ministers to extend Kent’s Bus Recovery Grant and the £2 single bus fare cap.
Now I am campaigning for pupil bus transport to the local school parents choose to send their children to – as well as ensuring that vital village bus services should continue.
The bus fare cap and the Bus Recovery Grant have both now been extended a further three months until 30th June 2023. At a recent meeting, I was told by local bus company Stagecoach that three further months would really help smooth the return to normality following the pandemic.
I am also backing school choice for parents and recently met with Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, to voice concerns raised by local teachers and parents that pupil buses should not go to the nearest school – they should go to the local school that parents choose for their children.
There was great concern last year following the announcement that bus routes in our local area might be cut. I shared those concerns and I am delighted that extra support has now been secured from the Government. I am also pressing Stagecoach to ensure that our local vital village bus services are maintained too – particularly for Kingsdown, St Margaret’s and Aycliffe.
School buses have always gone to the local school parents choose. I back school choice for parents – and I am campaigning to see that pupil bus transport isn’t just to the closest school, it is to the closest local school parents choose for their children.