Martin Whitfield MSP has joined Scottish Labour colleagues in welcoming and backing a new Scotland-wide campaign for better buses.
Led by the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), anti-poverty groups, trade unions and environmentalists have joined forces to launch the ‘Our Climate: Our Buses’ campaign which is calling for an extension of municipal bus ownership across Scotland.
The campaign is supported by unions such as Unite the Union, as well as by Trades Councils across Scotland, the Poverty Alliance, Friends of the Earth Scotland, the International Transport Workers’ Federation and One Parent Families Scotland,
The Scottish Government are currently consulting on how buses should be run and the STUC are calling for Ministers to provide financial support to Local Authorities to establish publicly owned bus services.
The STUC have also written to all 32 Local Authorities in Scotland asking them to support the campaign and to call for Scottish Government financial support for setting up municipal bus companies.
Martin Whitfield MSP said:
“East Lothian’s former MSP Iain Gray was a long-term campaigner for better buses. He helped to bring about changes in the law that now make it easier to re-regulate our bus network and set up publicly owned bus companies.
“The Lothians already benefits from the UK’s largest publicly owned bus company in Lothian Buses and its subsidiaries. Its success highlights that a different model is possible and can deliver the modern, reliable and affordable bus service passengers want.
“Further public ownership and control over buses will deliver better outcomes for people, the planet and local economies and Scottish Labour fully supports the STUC’s ‘Our Climate: Our Buses’ campaign. The time for bold climate action and ambitious change to our public transport systems is now.”
Roz Foyer, General Secretary, STUC, said:
“Buses are crucial to tackling climate change, reducing social isolation and boosting local economies. But Scotland’s buses are not up to scratch. Rather than lining the pockets of shareholders, we need to take back control of our buses so they are run by the people for the people.”
Anyone wanting to respond to the Scottish Government consultation on how buses should be run can do so quickly and easily at https://stuc.eaction.online/OurClimateOurBuses