[2019] Motion 10 Transport – buses

Composited motion

Received from:

Merged into composite 03

Congress notes that the UN’s Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Professor Philip Alston’s, visit to the UK in November 2018 resulted in a damning statement that exposed the harshness of government policy towards the UK’s poor and vulnerable.

Professor Alston 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 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.

The government’s Bus Services Act 2017 was an admission that de-regulation hasn’t worked but outside of a handful of cities given new powers, local authorities are still banned from setting up their own bus services, meaning that the private sector monopoly continues.

Congress calls on the General Council to campaign with others for the repeal of the Bus Services Act and 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.

Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association