Public urged to support Bus Regulation

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie is calling for support for a Bill to regulate Bus Services.

Cathy said: “I have dealt with numerous complaints about bus services. We have had some successes, but I am convinced that there would be fewer problems and that they would be dealt with more easily if the buses were properly regulated, and I have called for this in the past.

“I have also called for free bus travel to include all people in receipt of Disability Living Allowance, and for free travel to cover users of buses run by community transport organisations,

“So I welcome and support the Bill which is being proposed by my colleague, Charlie Gordon MSP.

“Buses in the UK have been privatised and largely unregulated since 1986. Companies naturally look to maximise their profits, but this can affect standards and leave gaps in local bus services. Bus timetables and fares are a common concern, as are vehicle standards and accessibility.

“Local councils have some powers to support and negotiate socially desirable bus services, and these powers were strengthened by a Transport Act passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2001. However, they have never been used and a Parliament Committee in 2005 concluded that the procedures required to use the new powers were too bureaucratic and expensive.

“The Bill would simplify and strengthen local council’s powers to step in and organise adequate bus services in communities where the local bus market has failed, but Charlie’s Bill can only proceed if the Scottish Parliament receives evidence from members of the public supporting its proposed measures, so I urge people to make their views known on the Bill.”

People can submit their comments by email to charlie.gordon.msp@scottish.parliament.uk or in writing to Charlie Gordon MSP, The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, EH99 1SP no later than Friday 27 February 2009. The public consultation on the Bill is available on line at http://www.charliegordonmsp.com, or by emailing the above address, or by telephoning 0141-632-8645.

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