MORE than £1 million of investment is coming to Cheshire West’s rural bus network.
Yesterday (March 15), the government confirmed that the council would receive £1.075 million from the rural mobility fund.
It is hoped that the money will be used to ‘introduce innovative public transport services’ to areas like Helsby, Frodsham – and the surrounding villages including Kingsley, Crowton, Acton Bridge, Norley, and Delamere.
When authorising the bid to the Department for Transport, a CWAC report said: “Submission of a bid to the Rural Mobility Fund is an important opportunity to introduce innovative public transport services.
“The funding will also support post-Covid-19 economic recovery, encourage social inclusion, increase connectivity in rural areas and provide scope for wider access to rail services.
“The trial scheme provided by the initiative will be monitored and evaluated, providing an important insight on the feasibility of demand-responsive transport services elsewhere in the borough.”
It was also confirmed that Cheshire East received a £1.26 million slice from the £20 million scheme, leading to more frequent services in rural areas from this summer.
The rural mobility fund is part of the government’s wider £220 million ‘better deal for bus users’, which provides councils with ‘additional funding to improve current services and restore lost services where most needed’.
It was announced in September 2019 by then-Chancellor Sajid Javid.