Photo: Michael Dugher, Labour's Shadow Transport Secretary, visited Stockton to set out Labour's proposals to put power over bus services back in the hands of passengers. (10/4/2015)
Bus services are the lifelines of our communities. They are a critical tool for the economic growth we need to see.
We know that good quality public transport is often the difference between accessing work and not, as well as increasing social inclusion and economic activity.
That is why it is so disappointing to see that:
- The number of bus miles has decreased since 2010
- 1,300 bus routes have been cut on David Cameron’s watch
- Fares have increased five times faster than wages at the same time as the bus companies’ revenues and executive bonuses have continued to rise.
Buses are one of the top issues raised with Louise on the doorstep across the constituency. We have seen passengers stranded and isolated through the withdrawal of bus services – Kirklevington, Thornaby, Stockton, Ingleby Barwick, Eaglescliffe, Hilton nowhere has been unaffected.
Louise recently met a pensioner whose husband was in North Tees hospital for a few months. It cost her £3500 in taxi fares to visit him, because there is no service in her village.
She has also met workers who lost their jobs because they could not reach factories in Urlay Nook early enough in the morning, and passengers for whom it takes 40 minutes to travel on a circuitous route from Ingleby Barwick to a town that’s really only 10 minutes away.
Louise has previously written on this website about bus services in Stockton South, and she has fed residents' concerns back into Labour’s policy review process.
Labour’s ‘Passenger Power’ Campaign addresses many of these problems by handing powers back to local communities to save crucial bus routes.
A Labour government will legislate to give greater control over local bus services to cities and county regions. Through the ability to determine routes, set fares and integrate bus services with other forms of public transport, local areas will be able to provide better services at one clearly understood price.
Providing a better bus service is one of my key pledges for Stockton South. I will be pushing for this to measure to be introduced as early as possible in a new parliament.”