Bus in Exmoor

National Parks are for everyone – not just car owners

All around England and Wales, bus services are being depleted due to devastating local authority cuts

Cumbria County Council, which operates buses that serve the Lake District have cut bus services by 100% since 2010. That’s a reduction from £1,839,750 in 2010/11 to £0 in 2015/16. And this isn’t unusual – nearly every National Park in England and Wales includes areas where buses have gradually been cut more and more since 2010. It’s not surprising then that 93% of visitors to National Parks choose to travel by car.

“No future for us here until we are wealthy or retired” – Exmoor Young Voices

This has implications for everyone, both visitors and residents alike. Overall, the Parks have higher than average car ownership, but even in the whole of the UK over a quarter of households don’t own a car. This predominately affects the young and old who become isolated because they aren’t able to get around.

What are we doing?

We think that if National Parks are really going to be enjoyed and valued by everyone, something needs to be done. We’re calling for more investment in public transport which will help people get to, from and around National Parks.

With the support of our supporters and partner organisations we are making a compelling case to ensure the Bus Services Bill supports improved access to National Parks.

As my husband is disabled, walking cannot make up, even partially, for the loss of the bus network. I find it very hard to think I will never see Rievaulx Abbey, or the daffodils in Farndale – AH, York.

We’ll be working hard to make sure:

– The needs of visitors and residents are taken into account in the planning of bus services to, from and around National Parks

– Local authorities are required to work with, and consult all neighbouring authorities, including National Park Authorities, when planning bus services. Some National Parks have a number of different local transport authorities in their area, making it even more important that all relevant authorities work together. For example, the Peak District is covered by six different local transport authorities.

The senior bus pass and rural transport – the bleak price of success – Colin Speakman

What can you do?

Email us to let us know your stories of using buses in National Parks so we can share as many people’s stories as possible with decision makers

Email your local MP asking them to stand up for buses in National Parks and highlighting how important these are to you.