I was pleased to hear the recent announcement from the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, for a commitment to transform our transport services nationwide. This involves a record breaking £5 billion for buses and bicycles and will include provision of more than 4,000 new Zero Emission Buses making journeys easier, greener and more convenient. This also comes alongside the decision made on Tuesday to continue with preparations for HS2 and level up infrastructure across the country.
Amongst the package of announcements, the Transport Secretary has required West Midlands Trains to spend £20 million on delivering a package of service improvements and compensate passengers for the poor service they have had to put up with for too long. This includes reducing prices on off peak fares and season tickets. To address issues with the service, West Midlands Trains have committed to recruiting extra drivers and senior conductors as well as making changes to timetabling. Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary has made it quite clear that the performance of West Midlands Trains will continue to be monitored very carefully.
There is a demand in the area for better transport services to make it easier to travel around Worcestershire. The National Bus Strategy, which will be published later this year, will support more electric buses on our roads with emphasis on increasing rural mobility. The ‘Superbus’ networks are set to roll out next year and will deliver £20 million for new bus express lanes in the West Midlands to ensure fast and reliable routes to bypass congestion.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said ‘Through today’s buses funding we’ll be bringing about a transformation in bus services to every community, speeding up journeys and capping fares to make high-quality services the norm.’ Welcome news for the Midlands.
The Government is showing a commitment to improving transport nationwide. I will work to ensure that some of this investment will come to Worcestershire to improve our local transport services. I strongly believe that those without cars should never feel isolated, so we need to deliver more reliable buses and trains that the public can use and afford.