Bus passenger body hits back at calls for council-run bus services

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Bus Users has hit back at calls for bus services in the North East of England to be brought back under council control.

During the current health crisis, councils in the North East have contributed £1 million per week to ensure vital bus services continue to run. Some council leaders feel that, having subsidised services to such an extent, they should now come under council control. Calls have also been made for councils in Manchester and Liverpool to have power over their bus services.

Bus Users Director for England, Dawn Badminton-Capps, does not believe this is the right time to be making such decisions: “Operators and transport workers across the North have done an incredible job responding to the health crisis, ensuring keyworkers can make essential journeys, and keeping the region moving.

“The priority now is not to decide who runs services, but to ensure they are as safe as possible for the people who need to use them. The longer-term aims of reducing congestion, improving air quality and promoting active travel can only be achieved if bus services are viable and sustainable, and that can only happen if we get people back on board.”