SIR – Bus services are a lifeline for so many people (Please back our buses, May 15) – and support for them is vital with further easing of the current lockdown restrictions in prospect.

Current government advice to the public to avoid using public transport unless they are key workers is vital but then so is the need to plan and prepare for restoring services just as soon as it is regarded as safe to do so.

Cutbacks in government and county council funding over recent years has resulted in a spiral of decline in local services and it was only just a few days prior to the lockdown that additional government funding was announced both for our ailing bus network as well as for reopening rail routes closed under Beeching in what would have provided a major boost to our public transport network.

Whether, with all the often conflicting demands on public finances to assist vital recovery for our businesses and our economy, this funding will survive is anyone’s guess but it is important that it does so to restore and improve services and help ease congestion, as well as on social and environmental grounds.

Julian Palfrey

Chairman, Vale Public Transport Group