Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/823/19144

From The Socialist newspaper, 3 September 2014

Planning, not competition, to meet our transport needs

Unite 'Save Our Buses' rally, photo Paul Mattsson

Unite 'Save Our Buses' rally, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Apparently, outside London where bus use is expanding, fewer people than ever are using buses because of rising prices. A 'centre-left' think tank has produced a report that criticises bus privatisation and deregulation. But it fails to call for public ownership.

High bus fares and infrequent services may make buses an unattractive option but the arguments for increasing 'competition' have been shown in practice to be a failure.

Competing companies try to undercut each other bidding for routes by attacking their workers' conditions and, from the quality of some buses I've travelled on recently, saving on cleaning and perhaps even maintenance.

Is this better for the passenger? No. There have to be concerns about safety when firms compete to undercut one another to secure contracts.

Are they making savings on maintenance, cleaning, over-working drivers? The bus on one leg of my journey to and from work didn't seem to get cleaned for about a fortnight, judging by the mud, twigs and leaves littering the floor.

Far from reducing prices, competition massively increased the cost of my daily travel. I have to catch two buses and one firm used to provide both services, making it possible to buy a single ticket for the whole journey. But they lost the contract with the council for one of them.

Neither firm now accepts each other's tickets, resulting in a near doubling of the price I pay to get to work and back.

I live in a Labour council under a Welsh Labour Government. Both pay lip-service to the idea of an integrated transport policy to provide a better, more environmentally friendly service to the public. Yet both slashed subsidies for buses as they passed on Con-Dem cuts.

It's not competition but planning that's needed for public transport. It has to be run as a public service not a profit opportunity for cowboy operators.

Public transport could be efficient, cost-effective and reduce massively our impact on the environment but for that to happen it needs to be publicly owned and democratically controlled.

Written on a bus to work by a Socialist Party Wales member

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 3 September 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Stop the Con-Dems destroying our NHS!

Pre-election Britain - crisis brewing on all fronts

Rotherham: Council and police cover up abuse

Democratic rights attack under 'fighting terror' guise

Clacton Tory MP defects to Ukip

Them & Us


Socialist Party youth and students

Fourfold rise in youth on poverty pay

Fast Food Rights: ‘Get the pink T-shirt lady out of here!’

Join the fight for free education and student grants!

Wales: Save the Financial Contingency Fund


International socialist news and analysis

Ukraine conflict ratchets up the international crisis

Tamil Solidarity Day - building unity to fight oppression


Socialist Party workplace news

Strike to save the NHS

Council proposes worst cuts in living memory

Romford sparks victory over 'umbrella' scheme

Teachers want action from their trade union

Care UK workers continue fight for decent pay

Ritzy cinema workers continue living wage struggle

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Victory for disabled transport campaign

New member thirsts for knowledge

Protesting against police racism

Solidarity Street

Fighting Huddersfield library cuts

Anti-racist day of action: 18 September

Rally for history's longest strike


The Socialist readers' comments

Planning, not competition, to meet our transport needs

Challenging Ukip's lies

Football fans angry at prices


 

Home   |   The Socialist 3 September 2014   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Public transport:

triangleUnions must fight to make bus drivers and passengers safe

triangleVictory for Stagecoach bus strikers!

triangleCoventry says no to congestion charge

triangleSouth Western Railway staff strike for safety

triangleSouth Western Railway guards to strike again

Transport:

triangleDrivers and passenger assistants employed by Hackney council in the Special Education Needs Service have won a victory - click here for info.

triangleHackney transport strike - blockade foils employers

triangleManchester: RMT transport workers' conference fringe meeting

Planning:

triangle'The little people can win' - Leeds tenants push back demolition

triangleThe landowning establishment

triangleClimate change protest in London on 12.4.19, photo Mary Finch

Competition:

triangleReject the mega-supermarket merger: nationalise to save jobs

triangleA socialist approach to Corbyn and a customs union

Buses:

triangleNationalisation only way to safeguard jobs and skills at Wrightbus

Council:

triangleLincolnshire health visitors strike

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

9/10/19

Review

Film review: Joker - Sympathising with a monster created by today's incendiary conditions

9/10/19

Sexual harassment

Book review: She Said - Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement

2/10/19

Letters

The Socialist inbox

2/10/19

Socialist Party

Active and strong member of Socialist Party reaches 80

25/9/19

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

18/9/19

Letters

The Socialist inbox

18/9/19

Peterloo

Peterloo - fighting for democracy and a better life

11/9/19

Democracy

Capitalist 'democracy' v socialist democracy

4/9/19

Socialism

At 96 I'm more convinced of socialism than ever

4/9/19

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

28/8/19

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

28/8/19

Crime

Knife and gun crime a product of poverty and austerity

14/8/19

Health

TV: Young, British and Depressed - "What is wrong with our society that all these people are feeling this way?"

31/7/19

Teaching assistants

Huge workload, low pay and unpaid hours - a day in the life of a teaching assistant

31/7/19

Letters

The Socialist inbox

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999