Chairs of the Transport Committees in England’s largest city regions today welcomed Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Mary Creagh’s backing for plans to introduce London-style regulated bus services. Following a meeting in Leeds yesterday (27/10/14) between the group and Mary Creagh, the Chair of the group, Councillor James Lewis, of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said:
“Buses are the main form of public transport in our areas. They are key to supporting growth, to cutting congestion and are relied upon by hard working, low income families who do not have access to a car.
“For far too long we have faced service cuts, fares hikes and patronage reduction as under deregulation bus companies are free to provide the services that make them large profits - not the network that would best serve the needs of our economies and communities. We need new powers to make it easier for us to introduce the regulated system that allows London to plan its bus services and to give passengers fully integrated, smart and simple ‘Oyster’ ticketing. We are very pleased that the Shadow Secretary of State recognises the urgency of improving urban bus services and supports the work we are doing to bring this about.”
Mary Creagh MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, said:
“Buses are the forgotten backbones of our villages, towns and cities yet this Government has allowed bus fares to rise by an inflation-busting twenty five per cent since 2010.
“Labour wants to deliver cheaper, more frequent, more reliable and greener bus services with smart ticketing, clear timetables and real time information.
“A Labour government will provide all necessary support to ensure that any city that wants London-style buses can have them.”
For more information contact Jonathan Bray on 0781 804 1485 (pteg) or David Brown on 07841 518 381 (Shadow Secretary of State for Transport).
Notes for editors
A post-meeting photocall picture can be downloaded below.
Photo caption: Mary Creagh meeting, Leeds 27 October 2014. Pictured (L-R): Cllr Andrew Fender (Greater Manchester); Mary Creagh MP; Cllr Frank Lott (North East Combined Authority); Cllr James Lewis (West Yorkshire); Cllr Bill Mordue (South Yorkshire); Cllr Liam Robinson (Merseyside).