20 March 2020
RMT Press Office:
RMT on Bus Industry appeal for £1 billion rescue package from Government
Commenting on news that the UK’s Bus Industry has today called for a £1bn state funded rescue package to protect ‘tens of thousands of jobs’, bus union RMT reiterates the urgent need for the Government to commit emergency funding to maintain the UK’s bus networks, which are a vital lifeline for key workers and the most vulnerable.
Earlier this week, the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed that the Government’s response to the Coronavirus crisis is likely to include taking private operators into public ownership. RMT resolutely believes that to ensure that bus services can continue to transport key workers to where they are needed, the Government should bring in emergency powers to allow all local authorities to run their bus services in the public sector.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“It is absolutely imperative that the Government steps in now to protect our bus networks which are vital to the mobility of the UK’s key workers.
“We have already heard that one of the UK’s largest bus operators National Express is likely to lay off staff as it reduces its services and we are concerned that more will follow suit. The Government must intervene to protect the jobs and skills of the UK’s bus workers, who, alongside other transport workers, are now classed as ‘key workers’.
“RMT believes that the Government must provide emergency funding to protect the UK’s bus networks and allow local authorities to run these vital services in the public sector, to ensure they can serve those who need them most.”