Motion 9 and amendment, and 10
Congress notes that the UN’s Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, compared the provision of transport, especially in rural areas, as “an essential service, equivalent to water and electricity”, and that by “abandoning people to the private market in relation to a service that affects every dimension of their basic well-being is incompatible with human rights requirements.”
Congress believes that it is essential that the government makes a fully integrated and green transport network a priority. This means reducing the amount of passenger and freight kilometres on our roads and moving them to greener alternatives such as rail and waterways. This will additionally have major public health benefits, particularly in urban areas, as we remove carcinogenic diesel particulate emissions that currently account for 30,000 premature deaths a year in the UK.
Congress believes that good public transport should be a universal basic right but since 1985, bus services have been subjected to de-regulation and the private sector profit motive. Since 2010, local authority funding outside London for unprofitable bus services has been cut by 46 per cent as a result of the government’s austerity agenda, resulting in a loss of over 3,000 services in England and Wales. A properly integrated transport system with a nationally coordinated timetabling system at its heart would see different transport modes complement each other as well as the infrastructure created to reduce carbon emissions to the smallest possible level.
Congress calls on the General Council to campaign for a fully integrated transport system, the re-opening of the railway and the creation of new infrastructure in order to ensure we have the capacity for growth.
Congress calls on the General Council to campaign with others for the re-regulation of the bus industry in the public sector so that services can better address inequality and poverty, allowing access to employment, education and healthcare – and the ability to be a part of society.
In addition, Congress calls on the General Council to campaign for further
electrification of the railway as well as increased modal shift from road to rail and waterways for freight.
Seconder: Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association