I was pleased to hear of the new £25 million Community Bus Fund announced by the Transport Secretary earlier this month.
The fund will provide new minibuses for hundreds of community transport providers in the UK. These providers lie at the heart of the local communities they serve – getting children to school, people to hospital, and supporting groups like the Guides and Scouts. They are particularly important in rural and isolated areas, helping people to get around and participate in local life.
The Government wants to do all it can to support these operators who already do so much for their communities, with 50% entirely run by volunteers. That is why they are committing this significant amount of money so operators can bid for a new minibus to replace or expand their existing fleet. Priority will be given to smaller operators and those providing services in rural areas. Bidding will be open to any community transport operator running not-for-profit services of benefit to their local community with one or more permits under Section 19 of the Transport Act 1985.
Further details on the bidding process and criteria for community transport operators will be made available on the Department for Transport’s website shortly.