Green Vision for Better Buses Move a Step Closer
22 October 2014
Green Dreams for Better Buses move a step closer
Green Party welcomes yesterday's decision by North East Council Leaders in favour of the regulation of bus services in Tyne and Wear.
Affordable and reliable buses are a key part of Green transport policies, and are essential for encouraging the much more sustainable and less
polluting option of shared transport, instead of yet more car congestion, by reducing dependence on private cars.(1)
The new scheme, which the NE Combined Authority voted for, is aimed at making bus services better value, attracting new bus passengers and keeping
and growing the bus network.
"Congratulations to the councillors who have stood up for better public transport, in the teeth of opposition from the corporate bus operators -
without public regulation there will always be a conflict between the drive to maximise private profit and the common good," said Shirley Ford (lead
European election candidate in 2014 and newly-selected candidate for South Shields constituency in 2015).
Shirley added, "This victory has been hard fought for, with some inspired campaigning by members of the Tyne and Wear Public Transport Users Group.
Only regulation will guarantee cheaper, simpler fares, with a single smartcard for all forms of public transport across Tyne and Wear."
Andrew Gray (Green Party candidate for South Heaton ward and Newcastle upon Tyne East constituency for 2015) was in the audience as the vote went
through, and also welcomed the decision.
"When we have asked shoppers on Shields Road and Chillingham Road, support for bus regulation has been overwhelming," he said.
"With yearly inflation-busting fare rises and threats of service cuts, it's no surprise that this issue has proved popular. We have all seen how traffic growth
has blighted local neighbourhoods and divided communities in our cities.
Better buses are a key part of achieving the traffic reductions that we all need."
Andrew gained almost 25% of the vote in this year's election in South Heaton, and has campaigned locally for a Quality Contract Scheme like this
Further information and interviews:
Shirley Ford: 0771 440 1466
Andrew Gray: 0757 996 5254
(1) Long-standing Green Party policy states, "public transport [should be]
designed and planned to create a user-friendly service, that is reliable,
affordable, accessible, integrated with all other
sustainable modes and environmentally friendly. Public service, not private
profit, must be the primary function of public transport."
(2) See for instance blog post at http://tyneside.motd.org/QualityContracts
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