Friends of the Earth on board with Labour policy to bring back buses

30th April 2019
news
release

Labour has released details of a new plan for a £1.3bn bus transformation fund.

Responding to Labour’s announcement of new funding for bus routes, Dave Timms, head of political affairs at Friends of the Earth, said:

“We welcome Labour’s commitment to investing in buses. This is a sensible and progressive policy that is good news for climate change, reduced air pollution, and improved public health. Friends of the Earth has been campaigning to get the UK moving cleanly, because transport – mostly passenger cars – is our largest source of climate changing greenhouse gases.

“We need to see ambitious policies to improve public transport from all parties so that we have the critical momentum needed to get transport policy to work for people, both in how we move around and the infrastructure we use, and to minimise climate-wrecking emissions.

“Radically upgrading bus services is an important part of that. There is rightly a major focus on a rapid transition to zero emissions vehicles, but that alone is not enough if we’re serious about addressing climate chaos.”

Friends of the Earth wants all parties to prioritise no and low impact travel, starting with walking, cycling and public transport becoming the most attractive and affordable options, especially in urban areas.

Editor’s notes: 

1. Friends of the Earth and Transport for Quality of Life report on transforming public transport including free buses for under 30shttps://friendsoftheearth.uk/climate-change/its-high-time-make-bus-travel-free  This contains five key recommendations:

  • Cities and towns should take up the new powers offered by the Bus Services Act to re-regulate bus services. By comparison with European towns and cities with regulated buses, this could reduce car mileage by about 9%.
  • A new body, ‘Local Public Transport for England’, should be set up to help local authorities to re-regulate their buses, with equivalent bodies also established by devolved governments.
  • The law should be changed so that local authorities can set up a municipal public transport operator (as in Europe) if they believe this will enable them to provide better local public transport.
  • Local authorities should be given wider powers to raise funding for local public transport, for example from a local public transport payroll levy. This should be in addition to increased national funding for local public transport.
  • Once bus services are regulated, free bus travel should be offered to the under-30s in order to achieve a radical shift in people’s travel behaviour.

2. About Friends of the Earth: For more than 40 years we’ve seen that the wellbeing of people and planet go hand in hand – and it’s been the inspiration for our campaigns. Together with thousands of people like you we’ve secured safer food and water, defended wildlife and natural habitats, championed the move to clean energy and acted to keep our climate stable. Be a Friend of the Earth – see things differently. For further information visit www.friendsoftheearth.uk follow us at @friends_earth, or like our Facebook page