Bring back the Buses
The People of the Tees Valley are not being served well enough by our public transport system.
I've been visiting local communities and hearing people's concerns. I was shocked to hear of whole communities cut off by lack of a bus service or even adequate cycle routes.
This needs to change but to do this, I need your help. Please join my Bring Back The Buses Campaign
As Mayor I will use the substantial political influence that comes with the role to Bring Back the Buses. That means two things:
- Firstly, bringing back lost routes; then ultimately…
- Bringing the buses back under public control in order to radically improve the network.
30 years ago, under Margaret Thatcher, our bus services were deregulated and privatised. As a result, fares went up and routes that weren’t profitable were cut – isolating many communities.
In 2017 Bus Policy was updated and using this law, I will to drive through changes to the way routes are packaged and tendered to existing operators. This will begin improve the situation for bus travellers.
However on its own it won’t be enough. We need national government to update the Bus Service Act 2017 to make it possible for bus services to come back under full public control.
Join me in sending a message loud and clear - Sign the petition now
Labour have already promised to do this so l am also asking people, to not only back my campaign but also vote Labour in the upcoming General Election.
Middlesbrough MP and Labour's Transport spokesperson, Andy McDonald says:
“Bus networks are essential for connecting the towns and villages around our region, which is vital for our economy as well as for tackling rural poverty and isolation. Labour is committed to creating thriving bus networks under public control and ownership.”
- Due to Tory austerity policies public funding to support Tees Valley bus services has been reduced from over £2.5 million per year to almost zero*
- £30 million per year could be re-invested into the North East bus network if it was publicly owned**
- Other European states (France, Germany, Holland) have such successful public-owned transport companies that they actually run many British transport franchises. Yet it is currently illegal for the Tees Valley Combined Authority here in Britain to start up its own services. Crazy!***
The UK’s largest public bus company, Lothian Buses, operates 70 routes in Edinburgh and the surrounding area. Levels of customer satisfaction for Lothian Buses are the highest in the industry and the company recently returned £5.5 million to the public purse.
Nottingham City Transport, which is 82% municipally owned, has scooped the award for UK Bus Operator of the Year four times in recent years as well as winning the Environment Award for its investment in reducing emissions through fleet upgrades and introducing the largest fleet of bio-gas double-deckers in the world.
In Reading, the local authority owns Reading Buses, the second-largest municipal operator in England. Reading Buses invests £3m a year into the bus network by not having to pay dividends, and has, like Nottingham, been repeatedly recognised with industry awards and very high ratings for efficiency, cost, and customer perception.
*Source: Campaign for Better Transport https://bettertransport.org.uk/
**Source: Based on average shareholder dividends paid out over last 10 years https://weownit.org.uk/public-ownership/buses