People across Scotland are backing Unite’s Haud the Bus campaign to bring buses back under public ownership.
Unite’s Community section set up the ‘Haud the Bus’ campaign to protest against service cuts in North Lanarkshire, and to work alongside the Get Glasgow Moving campaign for better, more integrated, public transport in the city.
But the union has now taken the campaign to the next stage, with a petition that calls on the Scottish Parliament to legislate to re-regulate buses.
“Scotland’s bus services are in a mess,” said Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty. “Fares are rocketing, passenger numbers are down and routes are being cut all over the country.
“We believe bus regulation has the support of the vast majority of people – from pensioners who have been left stranded by routes cuts, to workers who struggle to get to their workplace because of poor timetables and expensive ticket prices.
“Now is the time for everyone in Scotland who is concerned about their bus services to come together and take a strong message to Holyrood – we need our buses under public control,” he added. “Now is the time for our Parliament to act.”
People across Scotland have been taking the opportunity of the petition to highlight problems with bus services in their local areas.
“I’ve lived in a rural part of East Ayrshire since June – still not sure if there’s a scheduled bus at our road end or not!” explained Pam Currie of Ayrshire. “Use the X76 from Auchinleck to Glasgow and it’s appalling – 2.5 hours tonight, over an hour of which was standing outside in subzero temperatures in Glasgow & Kilmarnock.”
Helen Smith said of Fife noted it used to be possible to get a bus from Freuchie to several different places, but not any longer.
“Now buses are re-routed from the New Inn Roundabout onto the road through Kettlebridge, not even leaving alternate buses through Freuchie,” she said. “This means my elderly neighbour who uses buses all the time, faces a journey of around 2 hours minimum to go to Cowdenbeath, and there are other places which are now inaccessible. Disgraceful.”
“The buses in Glasgow are a disgrace – they desperately need regulation, rationalisation and integration, along with the rest of the city’s transport network,” said Alastair Cassell of Glasgow.
Unite’s petition to the Scottish Parliament has now attracted more than 1,000 signatures and is still open until December 20.
It calls on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to legislate to regulate bus services in Scotland and to carry out an inquiry into the benefits of bringing bus services in Scotland into common ownership.
You can sign the petition via the Haud the Bus campaign page here.