BUSES: Bill ignores concerns

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I would like to draw readers’ attention to one of the last acts of Theresa May’s government before calling an election, namely the passing of the Bus Services Bill.

This Bill apparently has ignored the concerns of the House of Lords, the Transport Select Committee and public transport campaign groups across the UK.

The Bus Services Act will, in effect, leave the organisation and provision of bus services in a deregulated nature, ie in the hands of private corporations.

These companies are run for profit and when they cannot make a profit, you, the service user, receive no service or a reduced service.

Nor are the companies commercial in that they cannot provide a bus service without public subsidy.

We, the taxpayers, pay for more than a third of the cost of that provision, yet we have no say in what service the companies provide, where they choose to service, or how frequently these bus services run.

The Bill also seems to have ignored the fact that bus services across the UK are in a crisis.

There is falling passenger usage due to unreliability and high costs, not to mention the health risk many of the vehicles cause through air pollution.

I believe this is due to the fact that the corporations have more influence with the government than the public, who are dependent upon these bus services.

Tyne and Wear Public Transport Users Group does not support any one political party and it wants an integrated public transport service that meets everyone’s needs.

If you rely on bus services now and want to want to have healthier air quality and prevent climate change, I would advise you to consider the above before casting your vote.

Vicki Gilbert

Chairman, Tyne and Wear Public Transport Users Group