We have been calling for buses to be run in the interests of people and not solely in the interests of shareholders for some time. Back in 2019, Scottish Co-operative MSP Colin Smyth secured some successes for our People’s Bus campaign.

In 2019, Colin secured amendments to the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 which would give councils the power to run bus services directly, or through setting up arms-length municipal bus companies with the possibility of directly running services, or operating a franchise model similar to the one in London.

But nearly four years after the Scottish Parliament agreed to give these powers to councils to run buses in the interests of the people, SNP Ministers have still not yet enacted the provisions to make it a reality.

Meanwhile, across Scotland the number of bus routes continues to fall.  There has been a 38% decrease in the number of bus routes since 2007, over 1,200 bus routes have been lost since 2007 and in the last year 160 bus routes have been lost.

If we are serious about tackling the climate emergency then we need to ensure that buses are a viable alternative to the private car.  Cutting routes makes getting the bus less attractive.

Scottish Labour leader and Scottish Co-operative Party MSP Anas Sarwar MSP is right to say, ‘Bus routes in Scotland are collapsing while the SNP is standing idly by.’

‘For almost four years now the SNP has delayed giving Councils the power they need to take control of local services and put an end this decline.’

‘This failure will do lasting damage to our communities, our economy, and our planet.’

‘It’s time to help councils bring buses back into public hands so we can run services for people instead of profits and deliver the reliable, affordable services we need.’

Along with Anas and our MSPs, we are calling on the Scottish Government to implement the powers given to local councils by the Scottish Parliament which allow them to move towards a bus service run in the interest of the people.