PRESS RELEASE –Sunday, 23 January 2022
Monday 24th January Lobby of S. Yorks Mayoral Combined Authority 9am till 1030am outside 11 Broad Street West, Sheffield Organised by Better Buses South Yorkshire
Sheffield TUC will be joining campaigners from Better Buses South Yorkshire tomorrow Monday 24th January outside the MCA Office when Mayor Dan Jarvis will be meeting the four Labour Council Leaders.
“We are calling on our local Labour Leaders to take back control over our buses and start the process of franchising,” said Martin Mayer Secretary of Sheffield TUC. “We’ve put them under pressure to reconsider their disastrous decision to simply go for an “enhanced partnership” with the private operators, instead of taking back control via franchising – which the Tory Government say they can do! We’re hoping to make the lobby as big and lively as possible.”
See Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/257814883123143/?ref=newsfeed
Banners and placards are welcome – and bring your singing voices as the S Yorks climate alliance have written a song “SYMCA”!
South Yorkshire’s leaders are consulting on their plans for an “Enhanced Partnership”, which would see private companies left with the final say over our network. “It is so disappointing that todays’ Labour Leaders are reluctant to reverse decades of privatisation and deregulation brought in by the Tories – even when they are now being offered the chance to do so by the current Tory Government!” said Martin Mayer. “Their Labour predecessors in the 70’s and 80’s owned and ran the country’s best municipal bus network with a ground-breaking cheap fares policy that saw passenger numbers rising each year right up to 1986 (when the then Tory Government brought in privatisation and deregulation of local bus services). So why don’t they grasp the chance to ditch this failed system and take back control of our buses? It’s what everyone wants!” said Martin Mayer.
The “Enhanced Partnership” proposal instead would leave the decisions over fares and levels of service with the private operators. “The Mayor’s Bus Service Improvement Plan claims this would lead to better services and lower fares but the evidence is simply not there to justify it,” said Martin Mayer. “Any extra services would have to be funded by the taxpayers at great cost because the operators will demand a profit payment and they will not cross subsidise from profitable services they are currently running, unlike in a franchise system. Also claims of a “fares cap” are very misleading. The private operators will not be restricted from raising fares. All we can hope to achieve from this is a London-style daily cap when you make several journeys with a banker’s card so that you don’t pay more than the Day Saver ticket – which you could have bought in the first place!” he added.
“Our bus services are in terminal decline under the private operators” said Martin Mayer “with reduced services, increasing fares and yet poorer reliability. We need our Labour Leaders to bite the bullet and take back control now!” he concluded.
Please contact Martin Mayer on 0776 107 8482 for comment on this press release.