Tue 5 Apr, 2016

Too many people are underserved by local bus routes. Scottish Greens support re-regulation of buses to stop companies cherry-picking profitable routes and leaving communities stranded. Sarah Beattie-Smith, Spokesperson Infrastructure, Transport

Scottish Greens today (5 April) pledged to make better bus services a key priority in the next session of parliament.

During the 4th session of parliament, Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie ran a Better Buses campaign, gathering the public's views on Glasgow's woeful public transport and pressing ministers for action.

In recent weeks Sarah Beattie-Smith, transport spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP candidate for the South of Scotland, had led a campaign against bus service cuts in Dumfries and Galloway. Thousands of local residents complained to regional transport body Swestrans over plans to terminate evening and Sunday bus services in light of funding cuts.

Sarah Beattie-Smith said:
"Too many people are underserved by local bus routes. Scottish Greens support re-regulation of buses to stop companies cherry-picking profitable routes and leaving communities stranded. 
"This is a fundamental issue in the South of Scotland where lack of interest in high quality public transport from successive Labour and SNP-led governments has left many people cut off from work, education and social opportunities, and has made access to healthcare and hospital visits difficult. As someone who lives in the South I know first-hand the urgency of the situation, and I look forward to a bigger group of Green MSPs pushing for bold action."

Patrick Harvie said:
"My Better Buses campaign showed how seriously Greens take the need for reform to our bus services. The SNP has ploughed extra millions into new motorways and dual carriageways while commuters and rural residents without access to a car are left behind.
"Regulations should include a minimum level of service guarantee. We need more electric or hybrid buses to reduce the air pollution harming public health, and we need a renovation programme for bus stations to make them attractive public spaces. 
"Green MSPs will support campaigns to extend the free bus pass to unpaid carers and we want to see more support for community transport schemes."

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