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TSSA President Mick Carney to champion better public bus services for all of Britain

12 September 2017

TSSA President Mick Carney will tell Trades Union Congress (TUC) today (Tues 12 Sept) that bus passengers across the country are crying out for much better services.

Carney will seek conference support to ensure that TUC's General Council joins bus and transport unions in campaigning to overturn the ban imposed by the Tory government earlier this year on local authorities preventing them from setting up their own publicly owned municipal services. 
He is expected to tell delegates that buses are not just an environmental good but an "economic necessity" for our many young people who "simply can no longer afford either the cost of driving lesson nor car ownership".
TSSA is concerned by a Local Government Association report that supported bus services outside London, have decreased in the single year leading up to November 2016 by 12% whilst commercially operated services are also contracting. 
Carney will say:
"The consequences of Tory austerity have eaten away at every part of the fabric of our society. But our young people really do need the trades union movement to shout up for them. There has been a dramatic decline in the numbers of young people who can afford the near £1,000 pound it costs on average for the 47 hours of driving lessons it takes to pass your test. 
"Add to that the average cost of insuring a young driver which is a staggering £3,878 a year an you get why fewer of our under-thirties saddled with huge rents, huge tuition fees are learning to drive. 33 per cent of 21-30 years olds now can't drive. That figure rises to 48pc for 17-21 years old. It's a luxury that's now beyond their pockets. In an era of cars for the few, we do need to be developping new bus services for the many. 
"Do you remember when Norman Tebbit told young people to get on their bikes to find a job? Well now the reality for many of our in work young people in Tory Britain is biking or walking to work, not because of any Tory green policy but because they aren't paid enough to afford the fares that Tory greed policy lets private contractors hike so they continue to rip what profit is left out of our hard-pressed bus passengers.
"Our young people need a new publicly funded bus deal, especially in rural areas where they are left behind. We worry a lot and rightly about our old folk and the importance of the bus pass to retired people as it enables them to contribute directly into their local economy.
"But the truth is it's our young workers who are now less likely to be able to afford a car and it them that need a voice calling for them to better served. Let our trades union movement be that voice. 
"We need a transport system that serves the needs of the many not the few. Good public transport enables people to improve their lives by connecting them with shops, services and importantly, employment and education. Bus users create more than £64bn worth of goods and services in the UK, and contribute to the economic benefit to towns and cities. 
"But after a decade of Tory austerity has deprived our young people of the mens to learn to drive, it's time for a rethink on how we best serve their public transport needs - and that will only come with publicly funded bus services."
To read the full TSSA motion click on the following link and scroll to Motion 14.

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