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  • Combined Authority’s new commitment to ‘climate emergency’ must mean taking buses back into public control to improve services and tackle the climate emergency
  • Investment in low carbon transport and local bus manufacturers essential
  • WYCA should reopen discussions with central government on tram for region

The TUC is today (Thursday) calling on council leaders to take buses back into public control to improve the service and fight climate change, ahead of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) meeting to agree new measures on the climate emergency.

The WYCA is meeting Thursday to agree changes to their 2020-21 business plan, including adding a new aim of “Tackling the Climate Emergency.”

However, the objectives set to be approved by council leaders fail to take radical action to improve the declining services offered by private bus operators in the region.

The TUC is calling on WYCA to:

  • commit to end the free market in bus services which allows private companies to do what they like, cutting services and pocketing huge profits
  • invest in low carbon and electric vehicles
  • support local bus manufacturers in Yorkshire through new procurement rules based on building community wealth
  • reopen discussions with the government on a tram for West Yorkshire as part of a bold plan to make our region a world leader in low carbon public transport

TUC Regional Secretary Bill Adams said “Council leaders should put their money where their mouth is and take action on our dire bus services.

“By taking buses back into public control we can turn around 30 years of decline, have more frequent and better bus services, and demand green, low carbon vehicles that serve local communities, rather than corporate profit.

“Without radical, green investment in our public transport system, council leaders will be failing our generation and the next in the fight against the climate emergency.”

Unite Regional Officer for Automotive Industries Richard Bedford said “we need to support local employers who are building high quality buses in Yorkshire.

“Council leaders can play a leading role in supporting investment and innovation in green buses and the automotive sector.”

ENDS

Editors note

Notes to editors:

- 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.

Contacts:

TUC regional press contact

Gareth Forest
glewis@tuc.org.uk
0113 200 1075 / 07810 374 976