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Philip Alston

Public Transport: Privatisation & Poverty

Public Meeting & Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Wednesday 24 February 2021
Online via Zoom (please register in advance on Eventbrite)

7-8pm – Public Meeting
W/ special guests Philip Alston, former UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, and Fran Postlethwaite from the Better Buses Yorkshire campaign

8-9pm – AGM for new and existing Members
Hear an update from the Get Glasgow Moving volunteer committee on activities over the last year and find out how to get involved in our local public transport campaign

Register for Event

Public Transport: Privatisation & Poverty

In 2018, Philip Alston, then United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, conducted an official visit to the UK – the world’s fifth-richest country – to investigate the government’s policies related to poverty.

Alston’s report highlighted the privatisation and deregulation of public transport, and the deterioration in services and increase in costs that has resulted, as a key factor exacerbating poverty across the UK. He wrote:

“… isolation and inability to afford basic transport had serious negative consequences in terms of access to jobs, schools, health care and community engagement. 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. Abandoning people to the private market in relation to services that affect every dimension of their basic well-being, without guaranteeing their access to minimum standards, is incompatible with human rights requirements.” p.11

Alston was so shocked by the accounts of poor public transport provision in the UK that in 2020, he and his team at New York University School of Law, launched a new project investigating the impact of privatising buses in the UK.

This Public Meeting from 7-8pm is a unique opportunity to hear Philip Alston speak about the findings of his report from the UK and to introduce the aims the new project. We will then hear from Fran Postlethwaite from the Better Buses Yorkshire campaign about their fight to bring buses in their region back into public control using new ‘franchising’ powers (now available in England and Scotland), which allow transport authorities to plan routes and regulate fares to meet passengers’ needs.

Please stay on the call from 8-9pm for the Get Glasgow Moving AGM and hear an update on campaign activities over the last year and find out how to get more involved in our local campaign for better public transport.

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Photo: The Special Rapporteur visits North Belfast. © Bassam Khawaja 2018