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More buses and quicker route to road pricing from Local Transport Bill

The Government today published the Local Transport Bill, intended to give local authorities 'more flexibility', and get more people out of their cars and onto buses, and provide the legislation to implement road charging schemes easily.

The Bill will reform the legal framework for local road pricing schemes, so schemes can be tailored for specific authorities.

Transport minister Rosie Winterton said, "The Local Transport Bill will give more powers to local authorities because they best understand their local transport needs. They will be able to improve local bus services and deliver better punctuality.

"Buses are the backbone of our public transport system and account for two thirds of all journeys made by public transport. That is why the Government has invested record sums in buses - £2.5bn this year - and why we are determined that whether you catch a bus in Doncaster, Durham, Devon or anywhere else, you will get the best possible service.

"We have heard loud and clear that people want a more influential voice for bus passengers. Therefore, the new bus passenger champion will have a strong public role promoting the interests of bus users across the country.

"The aim of the Local Transport Bill is to improve services and get more people on the buses. It will help reduce congestion, tackle climate change and promote the economic vitality of our towns and cities."

Winterton said the Bill would rename Passenger Transport Authorities as Integrated Transport Authorities (ITAs), to reflect their role in coordinated planning of transport.

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