£1.5 million boost for 'on demand' buses in Cumbria

Rural bus routes. Credit: ITV News

The Government has announced that Cumbria County Council will receive £1.5 million as part of the Rural Mobility Fund, designed to trial on demand responsive transport in rural and suburban settings - such as mini buses booked via an app - where a traditional bus service isn't available.

Initially, communities in and around Egremont, St Bees, Penrith, Ulverston and Wigton will be able to book minibuses and people carriers up to a 15-mile radius by phone.

The new funding aims to help people living in more remote communities by boosting their local transport links, as well as providing valuable insight into an innovative approach to bus travel.

The council will work with local communities to determine the operating hours for buses which will help residents get around for work or education, as well an an off-peak service to shops and leisure centres.

It's hoped the service could be expanded to other areas if it's successful.

It comes as the Government has launched a £3 billion bus strategy for England. It's hoped that councils across Cumbria could benefit from a more frequent, reliable, easier to use, and cheaper bus services.