We are calling on all Get Glasgow Moving supporters within the Glasgow City Council area to write to your Councillors to tell them to use the new powers in the Transport Act 2019 to regulate our bus network, to deliver the fully-integrated and affordable public transport our region needs.
Please visit the Write to Them website and type in your postcode to find the names and email addresses of all your local councillors.
Click on ‘Write to all your councillors’. Then type in your own message or copy and paste in the text below. If you can adapt this to put in your own words they are more likely to listen. Good luck!
I’m writing as your constituent to express my concerns about the Council’s approach to improving our public transport, and its apparent disregard for local people’s views.
Last year, I took part in the Council’s public consultation on the Local Transport Strategy. The results were published on 2 February 2021, showing that only 16% of respondents were satisfied with our city’s buses. The key problems people identified were: the high cost of fares, lack of integrated/smart ticketing and failure to deliver a co-ordinated service across transport modes.
Evidence compiled by the local public transport campaign Get Glasgow Moving clearly shows that the only way to address these problems is by utilising the new powers in the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 to re-regulate the bus network, through a region-wide ‘franchising’ framework.
This is what many English cities – like Manchester and Liverpool – now plan to do in order to deliver the affordable and fully-integrated services their regions need to address the climate emergency and tackle persistent poverty and social isolation.
Meanwhile, Glasgow City Council – rather than listening to local people and waiting for the Local Transport Strategy to be published later this year – appears determined to pursue a so-called ‘Bus Service Improvement Partnership’ (BSIP) with the private bus companies, which will never deliver the transformative changes that we need.
‘Partnerships’ have already been tried and have consistently failed passengers across Scotland over the last twenty years – this one will be no different. Partnerships are opaque and undemocratic, and with so many competing private bus companies involved, it is impossible to deliver integrated services and cut the cost of fares.
When the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty & Human Rights, Philip Alston visited the UK in 2018 he identified the deregulation and privatisation of our public transport as a key factor exacerbating poverty across the UK, stating that:
“Local authorities have often simply abandoned their responsibilities by relegating key services to the private sector and failing to take any regulatory measures to ensure basic service provision.”
If the Council continues to pursue this BSIP against the will of local people and the advice of experts, it will be locking us into this broken privatised model for years to come. We will never achieve our target to be carbon neutral by 2030, and our poorest citizens will continue to be exploited the most with rip-off bus fares.
As my elected representative, you must take action. Stop the BSIP and ensure that the Council commits to utilising the new powers in the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 to re-regulate the bus network and deliver a public transport system that works in the best interests of our city’s people.
Another key finding of the recent public consultation was that over half of respondents felt “the Council did not listen to their views when consulted on transport projects and policies”. We cannot allow this to be another fine example.
Please let me know what action you have taken on my behalf.
[Include your name and address]
Photo taken outside SPT Offices on St Vincent Street on 6 March 2020 (before the first lockdown)