29 September 2020
This crisis has shown that running buses for profit doesn't work when push comes to shove. We need bus services that get all of us, where we need to be, safely, regardless of whether bus companies can make profits. They're a public service, and our bus drivers, the cleaners, the depot workers and the logistics staff should be respected key public service workers.
However, our government doesn't seem to understand this. Instead, bus companies have received billions in public money, with little way of making sure that money goes to bus services. All the while, bus companies are cutting services, orders for greener buses, threatening job losses, and downgrading their working conditions, after months of service during a pandemic. They're putting profit before serving our communities.
We should be giving money directly to local authorities to fund bus services, not bus company shareholders. For buses to get back on their feet, we need to have reliable, regular, clean and affordable services. We need investment in buses, but again, this needs to go directly to local authorities to contract out bus services from companies to OUR needs, and our standards. This is public control and it's what they have in London, Jersey, and a lot of Europe.
Or better yet, local authorities and regions should run bus operations directly, in public ownership. This is how buses are run in Edinburgh and Reading, and they have comprehensive, affordable, integrated networks.
That's because public control and ownership of buses means all our money goes to buses, not to shareholders. While bringing our buses into public ownership is currently illegal in England, public control of our buses is possible, and campaigners across the UK are fighting for better buses locally.
After a call from TUC Yorkshire and Humber, campaigners across England are organising a brilliant day of action for Better Buses on October 6th to call for public control and ownership of our buses. Why not get involved to make the case for better buses for your community?
Here's all the actions taking place across the country, which you can join in with ! If you're part of a group calling for better buses locally, why not organise an action in your area? Email Pascale@weownit.org.uk to add your action to the list below!
Thursday 15 October, 2020, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Monday 19 October, 2020, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Monday 19 October, 2020 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Tuesday 6 October, 2020 - All day
Email Pascale@weownit.org.uk to get involved!