Does the High Speed hiatus mean a bonus for buses? DAVID JENKINS investigates

The Command Paper mentioned that £700m for Bus Service Improvement Plans would fund “hundreds of new local bus routes”. Specifically mentioned was the intention to double the (commercially provided) service between Northwich and Chester, although there appears to be no such commitment in Cheshire West & Cheshire Council’s BSIP. D&G Optare Versa 26 (T26 TYB), new to Transdev Yellow Buses in 2008, leaves Chester this April, bound for Northwich.

Beware politicians bearing gifts. The Prime Minister's speech at the Conservative Party conference in early October promised much for local transport, in the wake of the cancellation of the High Speed 2 railway line north of Birmingham.

But exactly what he said and – perhaps more importantly – what has been published on government websites appears to have been a bit of a moveable feast, with debate over what is an actual commitment, and what was merely an example of alternative transport spending that could be funded from the HS2 budget.

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