Ben Everitt, the MP for Milton Keynes North, has been supporting his constituents' pleas for better bus services in Milton Keynes and has raised a number of issues in Olney, Emberton, Bancroft Park and Blue Bridge with Transport Minister Richard Holden.
In October 2022 and January 2023, the local MP highlighted local issues around buses in the House Of Commons with questions to both Leader of the House Penny Mordaunt and Minister Holden respectively, with the latter agreeing to meet to discuss the problems further.
At the meeting, Ben and the Minister discussed Olney's number 41 bus, the 33/A which no longer runs through Bancroft Park and Blue Bridge, and the 21 which now drives past Emberton, but does not stop there. During Wednesday's meeting of Milton Keynes City Council, a number of Emberton residents spoke to criticise the removal of this service and to highlight the failings of the Labour-Lib Dem Council's MK Connect system.
Minister Holden confirmed Milton Keynes received £223,178 through the Bus Recovery Grant from January to March 2023 and will receive an additional amount in April-June, and Ben raised concerns over Milton Keynes City Council's failure to deliver a fleet of new electric buses across the city despite being handed £16 million by the Conservative Government as part of the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme.
Ben Everitt MP said: "I'm pleased the Minister agreed to meet with me to discuss the ongoing problems residents in Milton Keynes are facing trying to get a bus to get to school, work, health appointments and essential shopping. I've been working with town councillors, city councillors and local residents on these issues in Olney, Emberton, Bancroft Park and Blue Bridge and have also written to the bus operators on each of the routes.
"It's welcome news that the Conservative Government has extended the Bus Recovery Grant to help vital bus services continue for local people as I know the Council's MK Connect system is simply letting too many people down.
"I was also disappointed to see the so-called Progressive Alliance made up of Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors rejected an amendment from Milton Keynes Conservatives for a one-off pot of funding to restore the Number 41 bus service through Olney."