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Labour Promises Passenger Power

Michael Dugher at Newcastle Eldon Square Bus Station

Labour today set out its plans to put power over bus services back in the hands of passengers.

Plans to give the region “London-style” powers over bus routes and fares were highlighted by Michael Dugher, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary as he visited Stockton-On-Tees to campaign with Louise Baldock, Labour’s candidate for Stockton South.

Bus fares have rocketed up 25% since 2010, while routes have been cut, leaving communities isolated. In the North East there were 7 million fewer miles of bus services last year compared to 2010.

Bus company operating costs have remained static since 2010, but fares have gone up five times faster than wages, hitting families who rely on public transport.

Labour wants to put communities and passengers in control of local bus services. The party will hand powers back to local communities in the North East to save crucial bus routes, especially in rural areas where people are seeing their bus routes cut or removed.

Labour has a better plan for local bus services. The next Labour Government will give greater control back to cities and county regions to determine bus routes, set fares and integrate bus services with other forms of public transport.

Michael Dugher, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary said:

“Local bus services are a lifeline for our communities, in cities, towns and rural areas. Bus routes are being slashed, while bus company revenues have increased and this Government says everything is fine.

“The way local bus services are provided is not fit for purpose, Labour will stand up for passengers, helping communities get the local bus services they need.”

Louise Baldock, Labour’s candidate for Stockton South said:

“The local bus market across Teesside isn’t working and desperately needs reform. Over recent years we have seen service after service taken off our roads, leaving people who rely upon public transport isolated. Across the region buses are doing 7 million miles fewer journeys than in 2010.

“We need to give the power back to passengers and put local communities in control of local bus services. I welcome Labour’s promise to hand local authorities London-style bus powers over local services. I'll be pushing for early legislation to ensure local people are given access to cheaper, more frequent and reliable bus services and not left stranded at home.”

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