Our Parliamentary Candidate Joe Morris has revealed shocking figures that show 35.9% of bus services in Northumberland have been axed under the Conservatives.
Despite the Conservatives promising “bus services so frequent you wouldn’t need a timetable” in 2022, the total number of miles driven by buses in Northumberland plummeted by from 13.8 million kilometres driven five years ago to just 8.9. million kilometres this year.
Nationally over 1,000 services have been lost in the last year alone.
Joe Morris has pledged to address this scandal as Hexham, Tynedale and Ponteland’s Labour candidate:
“Bus users across Northumberland and the North East are being failed by a Conservative Government that is out of touch and out of ideas. In a rural constituency such as ours the impact of cuts in bus services hits so much harder. It damages our local economy, opportunities for young people and strips outlying towns and villages of social connections.
Local communities deserve reliable, affordable bus services but this Government has failed to deliver them.
That’s why Labour will hand power and control of our bus services back to communities who depend on them. We need improved transport links, and particularly bus services, as they are at the heart of regeneration and community prosperity.
We deserve better public transport, not just recycled scraps from this Conservative government. As our first ever Labour MP, I’ll fight for a franchised bus service, run in the interest of the people of the North East”
Labour has announced the first steps in plans to reform the country’s broken bus system and hand power and control to communities in Northumberland.
Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, Louise Haigh, has vowed to deliver the biggest reform to the bus sector in forty years:
“Britain is the only country in the developed world where bus operators have the power to set routes and fares, with no say for local communities.
Labour will end this broken system and hand power and control to local communities through the Take Back Control Act in the first King’s Speech of a Labour government. This bold plan would represent the biggest reform to the bus sector in a generation and put communities firmly back in control of the public transport they depend on.”
- Labour’s bold plan for change would represent the biggest reform to the bus sector in a generation and put communities firmly back in control of the public transport they depend on.
- Decades of failed deregulation have left communities with little say over the essential services they rely on.
- It has handed operators enormous power to raise fares and slash routes, and in many cases cut communities off altogether.
- As a result bus usage has more than halved outside of London, and many towns and rural areas are forced to rely on a shockingly bad, unaffordable service.
- Labour’s bold plans would give every community the power to franchise local services, taking control over routes and fares out of the hands of private operators and handing it to local communities.
Labour’s bus reform plan would do three things:
- Allow communities to Take Back Control of Bus Services: Labour would give all local transport authorities the power to Take Back Control of bus services, extending the opportunity to franchise services to every community currently only available to metro mayors. Smaller local transport authorities will be offered expert advice and support in order to assist with the path towards franchising services, with the Bus Directorate in the Department for Transport refocussed to deliver support to local transport authorities.
- Lower the barriers to franchising with a presumption in favour of franchising to end the costly and time consuming hurdles which delay much-needed reform, and prevent communities from having a say in how their bus services are run.
- Lift the legal ban on municipal bus ownership introduced by the Conservatives in 2017 following intensive lobbying by vested interests. This would allow communities that want to establish their own municipal bus network, building on the success of Nottingham City Council which has the highest satisfaction ratings in the country.
In the Hexham Constituency we know how important local transport is to residents. We know the importance of public transport in fighting climate change. We know the struggles local transport users face and we are fighting for a better future. That’s why we need a Labour government.