13 July 2022
Responding to government plans to cap single bus fares in England at £2 this winter , Greens are calling for massive public investment to provide a “genuine bus revolution” which would mean everybody had access to an expanded and high frequency bus network.
They have also called for a cap on fares to be permanent, not just for six months over the winter. Greens say diverting the £27bn away from road building could pay for huge improvements to public transport services.
Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay said:
“Boris Johnson’s planned bus revolution got stuck in neutral, indeed many communities across England have seen bus services go into reverse. But a genuine bus revolution, creating an expanded, high frequency and sustainable bus network to all corners of England, is possible. It’s a question of priorities. We say axe the damaging £27bn road building programme and divert this money into supporting buses.
“While a temporary £2 cap on single bus fares is hugely welcome and is an important move to help address the cost of living crisis this winter, it must come with fresh funding - councils cannot be expected to foot the bill. We also need such a cap to be permanent, not temporary.
“It is also no good having cheap fares for buses that don’t exist. So the fares cap policy must be matched by massive public investment in the bus network as well as an improvement in pay and conditions for bus staff to tackle the shortage of drivers facing the industry."
Councillor Matt Edwards, Green Party transport spokesperson, said:
“Buses are vital to creating fairer, greener communities. We have to accept, not everyone drives. In urban areas they can help tackle congestion and air pollution - especially where old diesel buses are replaced by electric vehicles. In rural areas, buses can serve as a lifeline, especially to the elderly, the young and the disabled.
“Greens in government have been taking a lead on reducing costs for those using public transport – in Scotland Greens successfully pushed for free bus travel for all those under 22 and in Herefordshire, Greens on the Council ensured that Covid Recovery funds were used to provide free weekend buses. Meanwhile in Germany, where Greens are in coalition government, there has been the introduction of a 9 euros monthly rail ticket.
“We will continue to push for a genuine affordable bus revolution in England and believe this can be best delivered when buses are a public service not run for private profit, and where local authorities set routes and fares.”