Bus Services Bill (last updated March 2017)

There is a Bus Services Bill currently making its way through Parliament?
The Bill was introduced to the House of Commons and given its First Reading on 24 November 2016. This stage is formal and takes place without any debate.
Why is this interesting? Outside London, bus companies currently compete on the street for passengers but if the Bill is passed they will instead compete for franchises set by local authorities with a set level of service for a specific area. The hope is that this will help combat the current skew towards well used, more profitable bus routes – literally leaving many people and communities standing in the cold.
Though the Bill falls short of providing new resources, it does provide the tools for local authorities to tackle bus provision creatively and in response to local need.
The Bill has barely made the headlines despite it having the potential to make a very tangible difference to millions of people. 
As we get older, mobility often changes with age related impairments and vulnerabilities, resulting in many people giving up their car and relying on other forms of transport. For people in later life who have to forego their cars, especially in rural areas, there is a greater risk of social isolation and loneliness than for previous generations whose lives were, in general, lived closer to home.
In Bucks, all commercial bus services focus on routes to nearest commercial centres and not to locations where people need to access services.
The Public Bill Committee has now completed its work and has reported the Bill with amendments to the House, and is no longer able to receive written evidence.
The Bill will next be considered at Report Stage, Legislative Grand Committee, and Third Reading on Monday 27 March 2017. 
Amendments can be made to the Bill at Report Stage. Amendments to be considered are selected by the Speaker 
The Commons Transport Select Committee has published its report on the Bus Services Bill. Commons Transport Select Committee: Bus Services Bill Inquiry
You can track the Bus Bill’s progress here: http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2016-17/busservices.html

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Dec 30, 2018

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The Winter edition of the Age UK Buckinghamshire Engage Magazine 2018/9.

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