Successive governments have failed to prioritise public transport and left communities stranded.John Finnie MSP
John Finnie, Transport spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for the Highlands & Islands, today (Thursday) highlighted a report by Citizens Advice Scotland detailing the challenges people face every day in using local bus services.
The ‘Round the Bend’ report shows that one in ten people uses a bus to travel to work on a daily basis; in some areas journeys cost jobseekers up to fifteen per cent of their income for one return journey to the nearest job centre, while a round trip to a local supermarket could cost someone on full time minimum wage five per cent of their weekly income.
John Finnie MSP said:
“This report underlines what Scottish Greens have long argued - too many people are underserved by local bus routes. We support re-regulation of buses to stop companies cherry-picking profitable routes.
“This is a fundamental issue, especially across rural Scotland. Too many people are cut off from work and education, and have difficulty accessing healthcare, because of poor bus services. And as this new report makes clear, many people on low incomes have little left once the cost of a simple bus trip for work or shopping is taken into account.
“The report shows how transport is a social justice issue. Successive governments have failed to prioritise public transport and left communities stranded. Rather than continuing to plough millions into new motorways, we need to see Government listening to commuters and rural residents, and giving the public real transport choices.”