Protecting Bus Services

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2015 Water, Environment & Transport Service Group
23 February 2015

Conference notes the excellent work carried out by the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) in highlighting the widespread cuts to local bus services which have taken place in recent years – in particular their report, “Buses in Crisis: A report on bus funding across England and Wales 2010 – 2015”.

Conference notes that the report finds that bus mileage on supported services has fallen by 59 million miles during that period, whilst commercial services have only increased by 33 million miles. CBT also found that 50% of Local Authorities have cut funding for bus services in the last year and around 500 routes have been cut or altered, of which 222 have been withdrawn altogether. Since 2010, Local Authorities have cut £44m in funding and 2000 routes have been cut or withdrawn.

Conference notes that these cuts have a significant impact on the lives of millions of bus users who should be able to rely on a well-funded local bus network. This has also led to job losses in the bus industry, with a direct impact on many UNISON members. Lack of funding has also placed more pressure on members’ terms and conditions.

CBT conclude in their report: “It is clear that the majority of Local Authority supported bus services are facing a crisis. Without new measures and with continued cuts to Local Authority budgets in prospect, this crisis is likely to spread. This will be a catastrophe for those people and communities who rely on these bus services.”

Therefore, conference calls on the WET Executive to:

– Continue to support the Campaign for Better Transport in its work on the ‘Save Our Buses’ campaign;

– Ensure UNISON members working in the bus industry are aware of the ongoing damage which the lack of adequate funding has on members’ terms and conditions.

– Work with Labour Link and the Labour Party’s parliamentary transport team to develop a transport policy that includes improving funding for bus services.

– Encourage UNISON branches to support local campaigns the protect bus services