Thursday 16 December 2021

North East joins Scotland-wide campaign to bring buses back into public ownership


Pressure for public control and public ownership of buses grows as new campaigns launched in the Glasgow city region, Tayside and the North-East


Scotland’s campaign for better buses continues to grow today as anti-poverty groups, environmentalists and trade unions join forces to launch new regional campaigns for better buses in three of Scotland’s biggest city regions.

Today three ‘Take Back Our Buses’ campaign videos are released, outlining the case for change in the Glasgow city region, Tayside and the North-East, and starting to build the pressure on all political parties in the run-up to the local election next year.

 Prior to the pandemic bus passenger journeys in Tayside and the North East fell by a quarter in the last five years, while in the South West and Strathclyde they fell by 12%. However, in Edinburgh and the Lothians where buses are council-owned, bus passenger use has bucked the downward trend.

The three regional ‘Take Back Our Buses’ campaigns call on local politicians in all parties to commit to using the new powers in the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 – for public control and public ownership of bus services – in their manifestos for local elections next May.  

This follows Greater Manchester’s decision earlier this year to become the first UK city region to commit to re-regulating its bus network since 1986, as the only way to deliver a fully-integrated and affordable public transport network which serves all the region’s communities.

The campaign is supported by unions such as Unite the Union who represent bus workers, as well as by Trades Councils across Scotland, the Poverty Alliance, Friends of the Earth Scotland, Engender, Common Weal, Get Glasgow Moving, the International Transport Workers’ Federation, One Parent Families Scotland, the Young Women’s Movement and the Scottish Pensioners Forum. 

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) is running the ‘Our Climate Our Buses’ campaign as a key driver of its wider campaign for a Just Transition.