Transport – A Strategic Utility

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2022 Water, Environment & Transport Conference
14 February 2022

Conference notes that Transport for Greater Manchester is on the road to introducing franchised bus services across the region, putting it in line with Transport for London. Although franchising is infinitely better than the feral free market that dominates public transport across most of the country, it is only a commissioning process – which leaves many of our members still working largely within the private sector.

Just like the provision of water and the protection of our environment, public transport needs a strategic approach that integrates across the needs of the travelling public both nationally and regionally and within countries, cities and towns. A properly integrate public transport network – including active travel, highways, buses and trains is not just a ‘nice to have’, in the battle against climate change and the quest to become carbon neutral, it is an imperative.

Our members working within the transport industry need to know they are working in a unionised industry with properly negotiated terms and conditions and employers who are accountable to democratic process, not to their shareholders.

The only way that this can happen is via the public ownership of public transport. Therefore, this conference calls on the WET SGE to:

1)Collate information that can be developed into a dossier which demonstrates the advantages v disadvantages of the integration of strategic public ownership of transport networks to be shared with our members employed in the industry and to the public.

2)To work with our friends and colleagues in organisations such as the Campaign for Better Transport to promote the advantages of a publicly run transport network.

3) To work with UNISON’s Labour Link to ensure that public ownership of public transport is kept high on the agenda within the Labour Party.