STAGECOACH'S new chief has welcomed the Government’s promised cash boost for buses.

Rob Jones, managing director of Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire, says the investment could help combat social isolation and cut car use in the county which has some of the most remote and scattered communities in the UK.

Boris Johnson has pledged £5bn over five years to improve bus and cycling.

Rob Jones, who took over the helm as earlier this month, said: "This announcement is welcome recognition of the crucial role that buses play in connecting our communities, driving our regional economies and helping to meet environmental challenges.

"Buses provide a lifeline in rural areas like Cumbria where people often have to travel some distance to reach essential facilities such as doctors, hospitals, colleges and shops not to mention jobs.

"If the money is targeted well it could help to combat isolation and reduce car use which are both challenges faced by rural counties like Cumbria."

The Government is due to publish a new National Bus Strategy later this year.

Rob added: "The government’s new funding will complement the hundreds of millions of pounds of annual private sector investment by companies like Stagecoach in greener fleets and other customer improvements.

"We look forward to working with government and our industry partners to shape and deliver a national strategy in the months ahead."