Bus services in crisis

Back to all Motions

2017 Water, Environment & Transport Conference
23 February 2017

Conference is concerned at the continued depletion of our bus services and welcomes UNISON’s support for the Campaign for Better Transport and applauds the support from the General Political Fund for research into defending and improving our bus services.

Conference notes that although buses are the most flexible form of public transport, they receive far lower subsidies than rail services do; are being cut at an alarming rate and are not afforded the importance that they should be.

The impact on our members is twofold.

Clearly there is a significant impact on our members who work to provide the bus service, who find themselves under increased pressure to deliver a decent service with ever decreasing funding, job losses and insecurity.

But there is also an impact on our members – not least those who work in the transport sector – who are service users as well as service providers, and who rely on the bus service for their transport to work. Statistically women are more likely to be bus users, and to have fewer alternative means of travel, particularly older women and those with young children.

Conference is disappointed that the Buses Bill, due to be passed February 2017 does nothing definite to halt these service cuts.

Conference believes that transport should be under public control to provide a sustainable, green, integrated affordable service for all, and that bus services should not be the Cinderella service of transport at the mercy of local authority spending decisions.

Further, Job security, decent pay, terms and conditions and adequate staffing levels are essential to meet the demands of the service.

Conference calls on the service group executive to work with all appropriate bodies within and outside UNISON to campaign for decent bus services, and for adequate government funding (to the equivalent spent on rail travel) to protect our members jobs and the services they provide.