When you cut off bus routes, you cut off opportunities. Many people are severed from jobs and education, friends and family, shops and public services - including vital medical services.
In early 2017 we made over 100 Freedom of Information requests to local councils to get a full picture of recent bus cuts; the findings are deeply concerning. Funding for buses across England and Wales has been cut by 33% since 2010, and by nearly £30 million in just the last year.
Over 500 routes were reduced or completely withdrawn in 2016/17.
The impact on people young and old can be devastating, as Delilah and John explain.
"The buses where I live have been getting worse and worse each year, with more and more cuts. It makes it hard for young people like myself to find a job when we live in a rural area and cannot afford to run a car. It is just not fair."
- Delilah Gardner, bus user
"Elderly people who no longer have a car really depend on bus services to maintain their independence. If villages are cut off, as is happening, elderly people will be more and more isolated."
- John Marshall, bus user
This decline is not inevitable though. With the Bus Services Bill currently going through Parliament, there is hope that powers in the bill will help local authorities to better plan and set standards for their bus networks, improving people's access to jobs, services and education.
This year's cuts
Total bus cuts, England and Wales, between 2015/2016 and 2016/2017
The longer-term picture
Total bus cuts, England and Wales, between 2010/2011 and 2016/2017