Responding to the transport debate at Usdaw’s Annual Delegate Meeting in Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary said:
“Good public transport is integral to a well-organised advanced economy and society. People should be able to travel around cities and towns safely, affordably and reliably. Unfortunately, this is not the case in far too many areas of the UK.
“We can all agree bus services are a mess. The price of fares vary not just from one area to the next but also according to which bus turns up and services are typically irregular or non-existent. Something which all too often means that people cannot guarantee getting to work on time.
“Local authority bus budgets in England and Wales were cut by over £20 million in 2018. The eighth year in a row budgets have been cut. Yet another result of the Government's reckless austerity agenda. Over the past nine years it has been clear that austerity hits low-income households hardest, the very people who rely on the bus services which have now been cut to the bare bones.
“Poor bus services negatively impact people's daily routines: Dropping their kids off at school, getting to and from work or visiting the local high street become so much harder without a decent public transport network.
“We want good, reliable and affordable public transport and we want local councils to be given the power and money to run a bus service that works for everyone. We want bus services back under public ownership.
“We need regulated bus services which operate in the interests of working people across the country.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)
is the UK's fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 420,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
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