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Bus fares set to rise across West Midlands as Covid support ends
Old 17-01-2022
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Bus fares set to rise across West Midlands as Covid support ends

Bus services across the West Midlands are set to be cut and fares may increase when emergency Covid funding ends in March, transport bosses have warned.

During the pandemic, operators have been propped up by the Government’s Bus Recovery Grant (BRG), which was brought in to cover losses incurred due to reduced passenger numbers.

A report to the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) says operators faced a potential "cliff edge" when the funding stops at the end of March, and were likely to slash services to make ends meet.

The region's bus network has been cut by four per cent since March 2020, while passenger numbers in November last year were down by 25 per cent of pre-Covid levels.

The report says that as of October 2021 the region's bus network received half of its income from public funding sources, up from 27 per cent pre-pandemic.

It says: "The Government’s Bus Recovery Grant (BRG), negotiated directly between Government and bus operator groups and covering some of the operator losses, is due to finish at the end of March 2022.

"Currently bus operators are telling us that the amount of money available from Government is not what was expected and may result in some network reductions even prior to the end of March 2022.https://www.expressandstar.com/news/...rt-grant-ends/

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