Greater Manchester has won the right to cap bus fares at £2 for adults and £1 for children after a landmark ruling by the High Court.
The ruling allows the metropolitan authority to regulate bus services there in the public interest.
Liverpool, West Yorkshire and Sheffield plan to do the same.
But the victory has opened up the debate on whether local authorities should continue to be banned from running services for people and not profit.
Even the Tory government seems to have shifted its position on this, believing the ban on municipal ownership is now “ripe for review”.
According to We Own It,
Only 9 municipal bus companies around the UK survived Thatcher’s disastrous deregulation. Because these bus companies don’t have to pay dividends to shareholders, they can invest more into improving local services.
This makes them incredibly popular, with Nottingham City Transport, Reading Buses and Lothian buses all regularly winning awards.
Reading Buses invests an additional £3 million a year into its service and has one of the greenest fleets in the UK.
The power of public ownership has led Reading to have the best passenger numbers outside London, with a 40% jump in just 6 years! Talk about levelling up.
If the Reading model of public ownership was rolled out across the whole of Great Britain, it would save well over £500 million a year.
And in times of crisis, public ownership can also help insulate the public. In Northern Ireland, the operator Translink, owned and operated by local people, has just frozen fares to protect people from hikes in fuel costs.
Sadly the Tories seem to have lost track of this great idea, amidst all the emergencies they have created over the last year, in order to distract us.
We Own It has launched a petition to raise interest and prompt the Tories to remember the statement they made as part of Bus Back Better, their national bus strategy, launched on March 15 last year.
If you agree that it’s time we all had a bus service that served us, rather than profiting the owners, sign here: End the ban on public ownership of buses now! | We Own It
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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If we are serious about moving to net zero then we need to have a first class bus, tram and rail network that is so cheap and reliable that it makes having a car a complete waste of money.
The government knows this and doesn’t want to do anything about it, no doubt due to their donors and the NEDs they anticipate at the end of their careers..