‘Doing buses differently’ – Manchester Friends of the Earth consultation response.
Manchester Friends of the Earth supports a publicly controlled bus network because the bus system is simply not working well for people in Greater Manchester. Buses are expensive and serve fewer people and fewer routes than in other parts of the country – especially London – where they are managed differently. Yet, bus company shareholders continue to receive substantial dividend payments. Public transport should be a public good – owned and managed for the collective benefit.
Three times more journeys are by bus than train and they are the main means of transport for the car-less quarter of the population. What we are seeing instead is bus fares rising 75% over the last 15 years, and over 3,300 services reduced or removed since 2010 in England and Wales.
In February 2019, Friends of the Earth, along with researchers at the think-tank Transport for Quality of Life released new research: Transforming public transport: Regulation, spending and free buses for the under 30s.
The findings highlighted that for climate change reasons at least a 20% reduction in car journeys is necessary by 2030, even with a faster switch to electric cars and a more rapid decarbonisation of the electricity grid. This reduction requires a radical re-imagining of transport which would also realise the numerous other benefits of traffic reduction, for example to public health.
The deadline for responding to the ‘Doing Buses Differently’ is Wednesday 8th January 2020. If you haven’t responded yet – please Show your support in the buses consultation!