I want to reassure you that I have been working hard to improve our local bus services in Lewes but I am also encouraged that Ministers are taking a wide range of actions, and pursuing a variety of significant strategies, to enhance bus services around the country.
Indeed, the Government oversees the transfer of approximately £250 million of funding each year to support local bus services. Around £43 million of this funding is paid to local authorities outside London in order to protect important routes that would otherwise be commercially unviable.
Additionally, I welcome that Government funding of approximately £1 billion per year is spent by local authorities on concessionary bus passes, and that Ministers have committed to protecting the national bus travel concession. Around 10 million people benefit from support for off-peak travel in England.
Furthermore, since 2010, the Government have invested over £450 million in bus-related local authority transport schemes, to deliver a range of bus infrastructure and congestion management measures to help improve bus service operations.
Meanwhile, I know that the Government understands the importance of accessible on-board information in helping bus passengers to travel with confidence, and in Summer 2018 it published a public consultation on proposals to require its provision on local bus services throughout Great Britain. I expect next steps will be announced later this year.
Locally we have community bus transport that enables bus routes to be maintained in some of the most rural parts of the constituency and I am keen to see these services expand. They do depend on voluntary drivers and currently this can be a limiting factors in being able to provide bus services on routes that are not commercially viable. I am doing all I can to support them with this.