Green MSP calls for First Bus rethink

For immediate release 10 January 2011

Patrick Harvie MSP today submitted a motion to the Scottish Parliament calling on First Bus in Glasgow to reconsider its deeply damaging decision to axe bus services in Glasgow, and slash the frequency of services for many more. The full text of the motion is below.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"Glaswegians are tired of hearing nothing but bad news about public transport in this city. These latest service cancellations come on top of repeated First Bus fare increases over the last few years. First Bus must reconsider these damaging plans, especially its decision to axe the evening service of the No. 3 to Stobhill Hospital.

"But the underlying problem is not just down to decisions made by individual companies. SNP Ministers need to stop sending public transport to the back of the queue when it comes to transport spending. If particular bus routes need greater subsidy to ensure excellent service for everyone, not just those who live near the busiest routes, then that is what Government should provide.

"It's when economic times are tough that we need to think hard about what our priorities are as a society. We don't need major new road developments right now - but we do need a properly funded public transport system that is fast, reliable, affordable, and fit for a low-carbon 21st century."

The full text of the motion is as follows:

S3M-07665 Patrick Harvie (Glasgow) (Green): That the Parliament condemns the decision of FirstGroup to discontinue a number of bus routes in Glasgow and make what is considered to be a severe reduction in service levels across many others; considers that it is not too late for FirstGroup to rethink these plans and put its responsibility to passengers ahead of that of shareholders, and calls on the Scottish Government to increase the powers of local authorities to regulate the operation of bus companies and impose requirements on them as well as to refocus its own national transport spending priorities away from major new road developments and toward creating a properly funded Scottish public transport system that is fast, reliable, affordable and fit for a low-carbon 21st century.