The bus bill could rob communities of high quality, affordable bus travel

The bus bill could rob communities of high quality, affordable bus travel

The bill aims to improve services and devolve power, but includes a clause that stops councils setting up companies to run bus services – it doesn’t make sense

The bus services bill was debated in the House of Lords before parliament broke up for the summer – and Labour and Liberal Democrat peers had strong words to say about one “nasty mean-minded little clause” in particular.

The proposed legislation has some good points, but in among the sensible policy there’s clause 21, which effectively bans local authorities from setting up bus companies to run bus services. In the Lords it was deemed “a piece of political dogma”, which “sticks out like a sore thumb”. Given that the bus services bill is intended to increase passenger numbers, improve services and devolve power, clause 21 doesn’t make sense. It potentially robs communities in England of opportunities to access high quality, low cost bus travel, which Nottingham, Reading and others already provide.

The council-run bus companies that still exist provide some of the best bus services in the country

Related: Do major transport projects only benefit wealthy commuters?

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Source: Guardian Transport

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