William Eichler 26 October 2016

Campaigners call for MPs to ‘take control’ of buses

Campaigners call for MPs to ‘take control’ of buses image

Campaigners are calling on MPs to ‘take control of our buses’ by opposing the Government ban on new public bus companies.

Clause 21 of the Bus Services Bill, which is currently being debated by Parliament, stops English local authorities from setting up new municipal companies.

The campaign group We Own It has called on bus passengers to take 'bus selfies' and explain why they want public ownership to be an option for local authorities.

Public transport was first deregulated with the introduction of the Transport Act in 1985.

Fares in England (outside London) rose by 35% above inflation between 1995 and 2013.

We Own It polling revealed 57% of the British public think local authorities should be allowed to set up new public bus companies – as opposed to 22% who don’t believe they should have this power.

‘It's absurd that after 30 years of the failures of private bus companies, the Government is ruling out new public ownership of buses,’ said Cat Hobbs, director of We Own It.

‘It's time to take control of our buses and run them for people not profit.’

There are currently 12 local authority-owned bus companies, for examples in Edinburgh, Nottingham and Blackpool.

In four of the last five years, local authority run buses have won Bus Operator of the Year at the Bus Awards.

‘All councils should be not just allowed but encouraged to follow the lead of the public ownership success stories in Nottingham and Reading,’ said Ms Hobbs.

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