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Building a world-class bus system for Britain

Building a world-class bus system for Britain

This brilliant report by Lynn Sloman and Ian Taylor at Transport for Quality of Life provides compelling evidence for our campaign’s demands for re-regulation and public ownership of public transport.

It gives case studies of many towns and cities across the world (including Glasgow’s twin town Marseilles) which have ‘re-municipalised’ their buses (brought them back into local/regional public ownership) to save money and provide a better service for their citizens.

If all the buses in England (outside London) were re-regulated using Transport for London’s ‘franchising’ model, this would save £340 million per year.

If all the buses in Britain (outside London) were re-municipalised and run in local/regional public ownership like Edinburgh’s Lothian Buses, this would save £506 million per year.

That would be enough to reinstate the millions of miles of bus routes that have been axed by private operators across Britain since austerity begin in 2010.

The report warns against the ‘partnership’ model currently favoured by SPT and the Scottish Government, warning that:

No partnership model – no matter how it is framed – can achieve the transformative change that is needed: it cannot enable a local authority to plan and deliver a comprehensive area-wide bus network; cannot enable creation of a single easy-to-understand fares structure; cannot allow timetables and services to be coordinated; cannot guarantee network stability and easy-to-find comprehensive information; and cannot enable costs of concessionary fares payments to be brought under control. p.12

Ian Taylor from Transport for Quality of Life presented evidence from this report when our petition for the Regulation of Bus Services was presented at the Scottish Parliament on 19 January 2017.