The research, conducted by CPRE and Transport for Quality of Life, shows that, with the right investment, the government could deliver a world-leading bus network capable of matching Swiss standards. In Switzerland, every village of two to three hundred people is guaranteed at least an hourly bus service from 6am to midnight, 7 days a week.
At CPRE, we believe that this level of service is possible here too, and should be our aspiration as we build back better after the coronavirus pandemic. Limited public transport in rural areas isn’t a given or a natural side-effect of living in the countryside, and we want to see these communities better connected to give everyone the best quality of life.
So, get a car or move to town. It’s not like most villages in the south of England are cheaper than the town. If they were that cheap, and so full of poor people, a bus would be sustainable.
We know that better rural bus services can change lives. This kind of investment will disproportionately benefit low-income families, the elderly and the young. By providing an alternative to private car travel, local bus services can reduce traffic, air pollution and boost high street spending, employment, social mobility and equality – all things that we at CPRE are passionate about.