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Scottish bus franchising should be run in the public interest publicly

6 March 2017

Responding to news that the Scottish Government is taking steps to re-regulate bus services, TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes proposes the creation of government controlled Scottish Bus Company.

"Buses are the backbone of any decent public transport system and the news today that Humza says he is prepared to undo the Tory privatisation of Scotland's buses is not to be sneered at.

"However I have misgivings about the franchise system he is proposing because it does not remove the costly bidding process from the system and hard pressed local authorities may not be able to afford the time or the money it takes to commit to a bid. Why not just nationalise Scotland's bus services by taking them into Government control?

"The workers, from the cleaner in the bus depots, to the drivers, to the route managers to the senior managers all know how to make the buses run. And Lothian Buses, as the largest municipal bus company in the UK gives us a ready made overseer. So we have the know how, the wherewithal and the rolling stock already in place. Just remove the need to cream off the profit for shareholders and fat cat salaries and bonus scenes for bosses and reinvest in more services and lower ticket prices and involve local authorities and passengers in the running of a new Scottish Bus Company and we should see Scotland's buses become a world beating public-serving service in no time at all.

"And if they do the same with ScotRail we'll have a properly integrated, beacon public transport system in Scotland that I hope will show public transport works best when peoples' transport needs not shareholders profits are at the heart of the system."

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