11 February 2020
RMT Press Office:
Bus worker union RMT welcomes the Government’s renewed focus on bus services, which have been in decline for many years, and are an essential public service for all of our communities. Since 2010, over 3000 bus services have been cut or withdrawn – and for many years, the number of bus passenger journeys has fallen, thus urgent action is needed to reverse these cuts and revive our bus networks.
Bus fares continue to rise, disproportionately affecting passengers in rural and non-metropolitan areas and local authorities remain prohibited from running bus services in the public sector. This is why RMT is urging the Government to ensure its National Bus Strategy acts on the recommendation of the Transport Select Committee and allows local authorities to set up publicly owned municipal bus companies. This would allow them to run bus services directly rather than presiding over continual decline.
General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“Bus services are a vital lifeline for millions of people, connecting communities and preventing social isolation.
"While we await further details of how this funding will be allocated, RMT is seeking urgent meetings with Government Ministers to ensure that the experiences of bus workers are incorporated into its Bus Strategy, which is due to be published later in the year.
"Bus workers know first-hand how cuts to bus services impact communities, affecting access to vital services such as health, education and work, thus it is vital that the Government’s Bus Strategy listens to our bus workers.”