A government cash injection has saved several 'vital' bus routes from being closed.

Galleon Travel, which runs buses in Harlow, Epping and North Weald, last week said its Trustybus and Central Connect routes would have to cease operation without further financial support.

Last Friday, transport secretary Grant Shapps announced a funding boost of £397 million for “vital bus operators”.

Megan Baker, director of Galleon Travel said: “This grant will inevitably help many bus companies but without more detail it’s difficult to comment.

“However I think it is great that the Government has recognised our sector and the pressure it’s under. With help from both Essex County Council and Hertfordshire County Council we now believe we will be able to continue to serve our local communities and get through these testing times together.”

As a condition of the funding, bus operators are required to maintain necessary services at a level which is sufficient to meet much reduced demand, but also to allow adequate space between passengers on board – up to 50 per cent of normal service levels.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “We have been very clear during the outbreak that the best way to stop the spread of the virus and protect the NHS, is to stay at home if possible.

“Our buses are a lifeline for people who need to travel for work or to buy food – including our emergency services and NHS staff – and it’s absolutely vital we do all we can to keep the sector running.

“This multi-million-pound investment will protect crucial local transport links across England, bolstering the sector and minimising disruption for passengers in the long term.” 

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