Overnight (Thursday), Leeds residents sent 130 emails to the candidates for Leeds Council Leader, demanding that the new leader commits to taking Leeds buses back into public control.
The TUC, which convenes the Better Buses for Yorkshire Campaign coalition, put a call out to Leeds bus users last night, on the eve of the leadership election. Passengers responded overwhelmingly by demanding a change of direction from the new Leeds leadership.
The union body’s analysis of DfT data shows that West Yorkshire has lost 4 million miles of bus route since 2014, in a stark display of the failure of the privatised model of bus provision.
Further data shows that public spending on local bus services in West Yorkshire has fallen by £6.5 million in the last 20 years, with 24.6 million fewer passenger journeys since 2009, and 9.5 million fewer elderly and concessionary passenger journeys since 2009.
Better Buses Campaign convenor, Gareth Forest of the TUC, said:
“Right now Leeds passengers are paying through the nose for a threadbare bus service that we can’t rely on.
“We need the new Leeds City Council Leader to hear from residents who are suffering from a failing privatised bus system.
“If the new Leeds Council leader comes out in support of publicly controlled buses, we can win a better bus service for everyone in Leeds.
“The leader has an opportunity for a fresh start and a change of direction.
“The time to put passengers before profit is now.”
- The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together more than 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.
- The Better Buses for Yorkshire Campaign Coalition is a coalition of trade unions, community organisations, climate campaigners, and pensioners groups, convened by the TUC in Yorkshire & the Humber. The Campaign’s objective is for all mayoral and local authorities to take buses into public control through the regulatory powers they have under the 2017 Bus Services Act.
- Coalition Partners include: We Own It, the National Pensioners Convention, Unite the Union, RMT, Unite Community, ACORN Leeds, Our Future Leeds, Clean Air Leeds, Huddersfield Friends of the Earth, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire Trades Councils, the Freedom Riders. Coalition partners coordinate some of their campaign activities but their campaigns also act autonomously.
Gareth Forest (Lewis)
0113 200 1075
TUC national press office
020 7467 1248
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