Buses play a crucial role in the lives of people in England. From the daily commute and trip to school or university, to shopping or a visit to see family and friends; buses connect many of us with the things we need and care about. A good local bus service can be the difference between isolation and the ability to live a good quality of life.

Despite years of declining ridership, the social significance of buses remains high, and the public see them as a vital part of an effective, clean, and fair transport system. The public are clear that we must tackle the failures that contributed to the bus’s decline while supporting a rapid shift in how buses are powered.

In this report, we show what it would mean to truly ‘level up’ the bus network and bring all of England’s metropolitan areas up to the same per head level of provision as London. Action to address regional inequality in access to local public transport must go hand in hand with a faster decarbonisation of bus fleets across our urban areas – improving air quality and visibly demonstrating on streets across the country the government’s commitment to addressing the climate crisis.