Election special – Rural Transport

With a General Election looming on 7 May, we asked the political parties to set out their policies on eight key rural issues that affect the countryside in 2015. Here we ask - how will you improve rural transport links? 

Gloucestershire floods

How will you improve rural transport links?



We’ve set out plans for £15 billion of road investment over the next parliament and £38 billion for our railways over the next five years. We’re supporting the local transport services that many people in rural communities rely on, including a £25 million fund to provide hundreds of new minibuses for rural community transport operators.


We will increase the Rural Transport Grant to fund a big rise in the number and range of rural transport services. Taking back our railways into public ownership, re-regulating bus services and investing in safe cycle networks will create genuine integrated transport.


Thirty million miles of bus journeys have been lost under this Government and many rural communities are losing out. Labour will give city and county regions more powers to regulate bus services, which will allow them to

deliver better outcomes for passengers, regulate fares and improve services.


We provided an additional £6bn to repair, upgrade and develop local road networks and gave communities more power over bus service subsidies. We plan to electrify all rail routes, safeguard many smaller stations and restore twin track lines to major routes.


We will open stations where there is demand and ensure rural road and rail infrastructure is up to standard. Rural areas suffer disproportionately from cuts to bus routes. We have committed to restoring bus funding.


We are committed to increasing access to transport for those in more remote areas. We have improved rural transport services through programmes such as the Rural Transport Fund and the Rural Community Transport Initiative and will continue to support projects that build on this progress.


The quirks of countryside life mean no two cases are the same – these have to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Giving everyone access to an affordable and reliable public transport network is a priority. Taxpayers should not be penalised for living in rural areas when it comes to public services. 

Read the responses to all eight key issues.