ON hearing the possible bad news regarding the 650 jobs at Alexander Dennis (650 jobs under threat at Scots bus manufacturer, July 28), may I make a suggestion that may be a solution to their predicament, which may not be so obvious to all?

We read some time ago that FirstGroup were interested in relieving themselves of the bus division of their business portfolio. One solution that could help both FirstGroup and those employed at Alexander Dennis is for the Scottish Government, in conjunction with all of the local and regional authorities, to put whatever they can into a pot (the Scottish Government making the larger contribution), and use those funds to buy not only Alexander Dennis, but also First Bus.

READ MORE: 650 jobs at risk under restructuring plans at Alexander Dennis Limited

This would allow all the local authorities to benefit from being able to provide new and better bus services that work for those who need them, not for shareholders, and for the wholly owned public bus company to buy new and environmentally friendly buses from Alexander Dennis (which would be part of the publicly owned bus group) at a reduced cost due their part ownership. What a revolution that would be for public transport in Scotland.

It’s a win win for all: the Scottish Government, local authorities and local councils too, plus it would have the added benefit of ridding us of many of the “ancient” buses that are currently being used to provide the services that are outwith the major towns and cities of Scotland.

Many outlying areas which currently suffer from poor-quality buses, and services, would finally be able to be provided with a service that meets their needs; and not the shareholders’ pockets.

We only need to look at Edinburgh for an example of what the whole of Scotland could have, as a public service, and as a result could also allow the joining-up of transport systems that many have been asking for, for many years, where bus, train and ferry services feed into one another.

And it would save more than 650 jobs. Remember, those jobs lost would affect not only local businesses, but many further afield through the loss of trade.

James T Ormiston
via email