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Better Buses debate: Time to give buses priority to reverse decline

Published 28 March 2018 by Transform Scotland

Ahead of today’s debate in Parliament on ‘Better Buses’, we’ve issued a briefing to MSPs on bus services.

The briefing outlines issues affecting bus passengers and operators, and makes several key points:

  • Bus priority measures need to be introduced, enforced and maintained in order to provide
    reliable and convenient services.
  • Glasgow City Council’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ) proposals do not deliver strong enough action
    on air pollution and fail to take sufficient action on emissions from private vehicles.
  • The Scottish Government should set out its aspirations for bus service standards as part of the
    forthcoming Transport Bill.

Commenting on the debate, Colin Howden, Director of Transform Scotland, said:

We are generally supportive of the motion’s proposal that the Scottish Government should set a target for bus patronage. However, we consider that it is also important for the Scottish Government to tackle the key reasons for the decline in bus passenger numbers.

“Congestion is a significant problem for passengers and operators, causing extended and unreliable journey times. Congestion also has a direct impact on costs for operators, and hence bus fares. We urge the Scottish Government and Local Authorities to introduce, enforce and maintain enhanced bus priority measures – such as bus lanes and traffic management – in order to provide reliable bus services, cut congestion and deliver wider benefits such as cleaner air.

The briefing can be found here.