Stagecoach are throwing their toys out of the pram

This week, we’ve seen once again that a whopping 80 per cent of people in Greater Manchester want to see our buses brought into public control. 

We’re fed up of private bus companies taking us for a ride. We’ve had enough of ever increasing fares, of routes being cut, and of private companies pocketing millions of pounds of our cash. And people came out in their hundreds time and time again to demonstrations, to actions at GMCA meetings, to organise events in their local towns and at bus stops - each time to call for better buses in public control.

Because of this, Andy Burnham is under increasing pressure to finally take the plunge and to end the free market wild west on Greater Manchester’s buses. It looks like public control of our buses is just around the corner. 

While the people of Greater Manchester are thrilled - some private bus companies are getting anxious. 

Stagecoach are up in arms about it. They are trying to take the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to court for a judicial review to stop our buses being taken into public control. 

Why? Because they know that public control would put an end to the gravy train they’ve been riding ever since our buses were privatised and deregulated under Thatcher. 

They’d be stopped from charging rip off fares and creaming off juicy profits. They’d be forced to deliver a bus network that works for passengers, rather than shareholders. And they’d be required to re-open vital routes that private bus companies closed in the interests of cost cutting. 

That’s because if Andy Burnham brings the buses into public control, he could and should urgently set region-wide minimum standards and conditions to make sure drivers are paid decent wages, and exclude cowboy companies like Go North West who are currently trying to fire and rehire their drivers on worse sick pay in a pandemic.

No wonder they’re throwing their toys out of the pram. 

All this shows is just how far the private bus companies are willing to go to protect their bottom line. They’d rather waste money on a court case than have their profits curbed so passengers can get a decent service. 

Stagecoach and the other private bus companies treat passengers and staff with contempt. It’s time for Andy Burnham to reign them in and to bring our buses into public control.

Comments

Andy Wigley replied on

To much profits

Rupert Pitt replied on

In all cities there should be a body like Transport for London which can monitor and regulate bus use.

Pupert Ritt replied on

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is the public body responsible for co-ordinating transport services throughout Greater Manchester in North West England. The organisation traces its origins to the Transport Act 1968, when the SELNEC (South East Lancashire/North East Cheshire) Passenger Transport Executive was established to co-ordinate public transport in and around Manchester. Between 1974 and 2011, it was known as the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE), until a reform of local government in Greater Manchester granted it more powers and prompted a corporate rebranding.[1] The strategies and policies of Transport for Greater Manchester are set by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and its Greater Manchester Transport Committee.

Transport for Greater Manchester is responsible for investments in improving transport services and facilities. It is the executive arm of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority which funds and makes policies for TfGM. The authority is made up of 33 councillors appointed from the ten Greater Manchester districts (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan).

Martha Young replied on

When buses were deregulated in 1988 Stagecoach ran a lot of companies off the road by running their busus at ridiculously low fares. My kids paid 2p for a three mile ride to school. As soon as they had a monopoly up went the fares. Much better to be publically owned - fair fares, better wages and working conditions for staff

Clare Russell replied on

do not privatise the buses

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