A CAMPAIGN group calling for Strathclyde buses to be brought back into public ownership has presented a petition of almost 10,000 signatures to the local operator. 

We previously told how the Better Buses for Strathclyde project wants to see a “complete rebrand” of the bus network across the area.

The group has now submitted a petition of 9751 signatures to Strathclyde Partnership (SPT) for Transport “demanding that SPT move forward with taking our region’s buses back into public control”.

The petition itself can still be signed here and claims that “bus services across Strathclyde are in crisis”.

“Private bus companies receive millions in public subsidies every year, yet they continue to cut our vital services and hike up fares,” it says.

“This has left many people across our region locked out of jobs and opportunities, unable to visit friends or family, or forced to buy cars.

“We’ve seen a vicious circle of decline ever since our buses were deregulated in 1986. Now finally we have the chance to turn this around.”

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Since December 4, local transport authorities have been given new powers under the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 to again run bus services.

In a post on Twitter/X, the group said: “Great turnout for petition hand-in at @SPTcorporate this morning.  

“We submitted 9751 of your signatures to vice chair Councillor Alan Moir demanding that SPT move forward with taking our region’s buses back into public control.”

The petition adds: “Re-regulating the private bus companies (through ‘franchising’) will mean SPT can plan bus routes to serve our communities needs and to connect seamlessly with trains, ferries, and Glasgow’s Subway.

The National:

"They can cut fares and deliver one simple, affordable ticket across all transport modes – like Greater Manchester is now doing.

"SPT can also set up a new publicly-owned bus company for Strathclyde – like Edinburgh’s Lothian Buses – which can reinvest profits in improving our network.

"The next year is crucial. SPT is currently developing the new Strathclyde Regional Bus Strategy which will set the direction of bus policy for the next 15 years.

"This offers us a once-in-generation opportunity to end the chaos caused by bus deregulation and ensure that public money is used to provide the services that we need.

"We call on SPT’s Board to ensure that this Strategy sets out clear plans to use both these new powers in tandem (for ‘franchising’ and to set up a new public operator for Strathclyde.

The National:

"It’s vital that SPT’s Board also rejects the idea of entering into a so-called ‘Bus Service Improvement Partnership’ with the private operators which would simply maintain the status quo.

"We call on the leaders on Strathclyde’s 12 Councils to support SPT to take our region’s buses back into public control."

Moir, who serves as the chair of SPT S&P Committee, said: “We thank Better Buses for Strathclyde for their interest and support of the development of the Strathclyde Regional Bus Strategy.

"This important piece of work, being taken forward by SPT, is looking at all the options for future bus operations in our area which we all recognise have been in serious decline over a number of years.

“The recommendation of the SRBS will be taken to SPT’s partnership meeting in March and we look forward to the future public consultation on the recommended option(s) later this year.”