Cumberland Council is among the local authorities set to benefit from an £80 million Government funding package delivered to improve and protect bus services.
The move follows tireless lobbying from Workington MP Mark Jenkinson who has raised the issue with ministers on behalf of his constituents.
He has also been calling on the Department for Transport for greater investment, as well as working with local bus operators to improve services.
Mr Jenkinson has also been encouraging Cumberland Council to make use of the Government subsidies and grants available for that purpose.
This latest round of funding will protect essential bus services and allow councils to make the improvements that would most benefit their communities.
The boost is intended to help support local services, ensuring passengers can continue to use the bus to get to work, shops as well as to important appointments.
This is part of £3.5 billion investment since 2020 to protect and improve bus services while keeping fares low, helping people to save money on travel and grow the economy.
It is also designed to help lower fares, improve bus reliability and punctuality while preventing service reductions,
Welcoming the announcement, Mark Jenkinson MP said: “Investment in our bus services is something for which I have been campaigning tirelessly.
“I am pleased my please have been heard – and Cumberland will be among the 64 local authorities across England to benefit from this vital multi-million pound investment.
“Bus services are a lifeline, particularly in a rural county like ours – and I will continue to push for investment on our public transport to keep businesses and people connected.
“This will see Cumberland Council receive £464,743 in this round of funding alone.”
Local authorities can use the funding to improve local buses in several ways, such as by bringing in new services or routes, extending timetables through new morning or evening buses or making tickets cheaper through reduced fares for elderly or young people, depending on what will be most valuable in their local area.
The investment could also be used to protect hundreds of bus services with low passenger numbers so that people who rely on them for essential services can continue to access their local bus.
This comes on top of a further £140 million announced in May from the extension of the Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG), taking the total to continue supporting and protecting bus services across England to £300 million into 2025.
To help people with the cost of living and save on everyday travel costs, the government also invested £200 million to extend the bus fare cap, with single bus tickets capped at £2 outside London until the end of October 2023 and then at £2.50 until 30 November 2024.
The £2 fare cap has cut travel costs, particularly in rural areas, where buses are crucial for so many people to get around, with the average fare dropping by 10.8% in rural and non-metropolitan parts of England.
The measures take total government support to protect and improve bus services while keeping fares low to £3.5 billion since 2020.
While it is the responsibility of bus operators and local transport authorities to ensure an adequate provision of bus routes, the government continues to work closely with the sector to support local areas in dealing with changing travel patterns while managing pressures on the taxpayer.