We tell government: we need a reliable bus service for every community

Avatar for Chris Hinchliff
By Chris Hinchliff
23rd January 2021

CPRE, the countryside charity has today launched a campaign for a reliable bus service for every community.

We’re calling on the government to make sure that, as we recover from the pandemic, our towns and villages have the bus services that local people need and deserve.

Currently, many rural communities are cut off and isolated with local bus services a rare sight. But we believe that we can have a better system, with high quality public transport helping our towns and villages to thrive again.

'The coming years will be crucial for rural life across England.'

The coming years will be crucial for rural life across England. There’s never been a more important time to ensure that our politicians take the action we want to see.

Hand-drawn image of a woman standing by a 'town centre' sign on a rural road
It’s time to get our rural communities connected again | CPRE

Too many towns are cut off

We’re launching this campaign after groundbreaking research published for CPRE in 2020 found that more than half of the small rural towns across the south west and north east of England have completely inadequate public transport links.

After decades of cuts and underinvestment, rural bus people living in towns and villages across England don’t have access to the reliable bus services that they need.

'More than half of the small rural towns across the south west and north east of England have completely inadequate public transport links.'

This means that older people who are unable to drive are being left lonely and isolated with no way to visit their friends and family. Younger people starting out in life in rural communities are being cut off from the training and education opportunities they need to get a good job and live up to their potential.

Lower-income families are being pushed into a vicious cycle of debt with no choice but to buy cars they can’t afford just so they can get around in their day-to-day lives.

This is why we’re calling on the government for change.

What CPRE wants to see

We’re calling for a reliable bus service for every community.

Other countries like Switzerland and Germany have been able to achieve this: we know it’s possible. We just need the political will to make it a reality here.

'Other countries like Switzerland and Germany have been able to achieve this: we know it's possible.'

With better public transport between our towns and villages, we’ll all benefit. It would bring us:

    • Less traffic and air pollution
    • Better access to local green spaces for all
    • More spending on our local high streets at a time when they sorely need it
    • Access to training and jobs for every younger person
    • And a ticket out of loneliness and isolation for older people.

Take Annie from Northumberland. Her story shows why we need action on rural bus services now.

Join our call for better transport connections

If you support our call for a reliable bus service for every community and want to take part in the campaign, why not sign our petition today? The more people get involved the more we can force politicians to pay attention and take action on this important issue.

And if you’ve already signed up, you can click here to share Annie’s story on Facebook or Twitter now.

Thanks for all your support. Together we can ensure that everyone has access to the bus services that they need and that our towns and villages can thrive once again.

Call for reliable buses for all
A woman waits at a village bus stop
Kept waiting: rural bus services have been neglected