Sent to press on Tuesday March 10th:
It’s sad news that Leven Valley Coaches are to close. This will be a real hammer blow to the local communities they serve. The loss of the services connecting people to the local hospitals is especially worrying.
This shows again that the local bus market across Teesside is not fit for purpose and desperately needs reform. Over recent years we have seen service after service taken off our roads, leaving people who rely upon public transport isolated. Across the region buses are doing 7 million miles fewer journeys than in 2010.
We need to give the power back to passengers and put local communities in control of local bus services. If we win in May, Labour will hand local authorities London-style bus powers over local services. I'll be pushing for early legislation to ensure local people are given access to cheaper, more frequent and reliable bus services and not left stranded at home.