19 July 2021
RMT Press Office:
Bus Union RMT on a new report into the failure of the UK’s privatised bus network, by former UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston.
Commenting on the report, which found that the UK’s privatised bus system is ‘failing passengers’ and ‘undermining rights’, RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said:
“This report is completely right in its assessment that privatisation and deregulation has created a bus network which is ‘expensive, unreliable and dysfunctional’ and does not work for passengers.
“For many, bus services provide a vital link to their communities, and as the report highlights, poor bus services restrict access to work, education, healthcare and food and certain parts of society, including people living in poverty, older people, women and disabled people are particularly affected.
“It is clear that bus privatisation and deregulation has completely failed, and this report should be a wake-up call for the Government. It is laughable that the National Bus Strategy failed to reverse the ban on new municipal bus companies and local authorities still do not have certainty over future levels of funding for bus services.
“With Covid-19 emergency funding ending in just a number of weeks, the Government needs to urgently rethink its National Bus Strategy and stop caving to the private operators’ desire to maximise shareholder profit and ensure that all bus services and jobs are protected.
“The Government needs to step up and rectify the failures caused by decades of privatisation and deregulation. It needs to reverse the ban on new municipal bus companies, and provide sufficient, ring-fenced, national funding for all local authorities to deliver the bus services their local communities require.”