22 July 2014
RMT Press Office
TRANSPORT UNION RMT today slammed decades of Government cuts for reducing millions of people to lives of abject transport poverty as a new report from the Commons Transport Committee highlighted the fact that the isolation has now spread from the rural communities hammered by attacks on bus services to our towns and cities as well.
The report, Passenger Transport In Isolated Communities, said: "Policy makers sometimes equate 'isolated communities' with 'rural communities', but we found that isolated communities also exist in urban and suburban areas.”
The report went on: "We recognise the importance of community transport, but believe that central government and local authorities are being unrealistic if they expect voluntary community transport projects to compensate for decreased bus services."
RMT, which has been leading the fight against cuts to bus services, warned today that rising fares and cuts to services, such as those mapped out in the consultation on the future of the Northern and Trans-Pennine franchises, will make a dire situation even worse. Axing of ticket offices, sacking of guards and removal of station staff on London Underground and on rail franchises make essential transport services a no-go area for many older people, women travelling at night and people with disabilities regardless of where they live.
Mick Cash, RMT acting general secretary, said:
"This damning report shows that savage cuts to bus services, and the high costs of other forms of transport, are condemning some of the most vulnerable members of our society to lives of total isolation and misery.
"The report highlights once again the huge gulf between the lives of the well-heeled political elite and those who are the real victims of their policies. Transport poverty is just another shocking indictment of the reality of life in Britain in 2014."