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Don’t prevent Bristol from running its own bus company

Green councillors have spoken out against Clause 21 of the Bus Service Bill, which would prevent Bristol from setting up its own publicly owned bus company. The bill is currently going through Parliament and includes a controversial clause to prevent councils owning local bus companies.

Eleanor Combley, Green Councillor for Bishopston and Ashley Down said:

“The bus bill includes good proposals to allow local authorities to set maximum fares, introduce joint tickets and travel zones and set bus timetables. But hidden in the bill is also a disastrous proposal to prohibit local authorities from setting up their own publicly owned bus companies. We support the we own it campaign and their excellent work to get this clause removed.”

“Greens support public ownership of public services wherever possible. Across the country there are 12 bus companies run by local authorities which provide some of the best services and have some of the highest pus passenger numbers outside London [1]. If the government is serious about devolution and localised decision making then they should drop a clause which could prevent other councils from also providing affordable bus services for local communities.”

Councillor Clive Stevens, who has been campaigning on local bus routes said:

A good local bus service is essential for older people and disabled people. It is also key to reducing traffic congestion and the air pollution this causes, something which affect us all. Across the country private ownership of bus services means that £277 million every year goes to shareholders instead of local authorities.”

Councillor Eleanor Combley continued:

“Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees indicated before the election that he was in favour of public ownership of buses. I will therefore be tabling a question to the next Full Council asking him how he plans to fight a clause that would prevent this. Greens will also be submitting a motion to Full Council calling for the removal of Clause 21 from the bus bill.” 

Image © Ad Meskens / Wikimedia Commons


Notes

  1. Local authority run bus companies run some of the best used bus companies in the country  https://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2016/aug/03/bus-services-bill-lords-local-authority-transport-devolution

  2. The Green Party supports public services being brought back into public ownership wherever possible and has been campaigning against clause 21: https://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/2016/07/20/greens-stand-up-for-public-ownership/

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