Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has welcomed Labour’s plans to tackle the decline in bus routes by empowering local communities to have more say in their public transport.
The news comes after Labour analysis revealed that available bus routes have nearly halved since Labour left office. Official data from the Traffic Commissioners shows 17,394 registered bus routes in 2010, a figure that has plummeted to 8,781. The number of services in the North West alone has fallen by 52%.
Gwynne has backed the decision of Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham to bring bus services back under public control, with a new franchising system (the Bee Network) starting its roll-out next month.
Following their analysis, Labour has said that if it gets into power at the next General Election, it will allow all local authorities to do the same as Burnham, and lift the 2017 Tory ban on councils setting up their own bus companies.
Last year, following the hard work of local Labour councillors, Transport for Greater Manchester intervened to save the 7/7A bus route serving Heaton Chapel, Reddish and Dane Bank until the planned franchising of the bus service begins to take effect.
Commenting on Labour’s plans, Andrew Gwynne said:
“It’s shocking that in just 13 years, communities in the North West have lost over 50% of their local bus routes.
“This needs to change, so I’m proud to support Andy Burnham’s ambitious transformation of bus services here in Greater Manchester.
“I’m also really pleased that Labour wants to prioritise improving connectivity across the country, and will support local communities to do just that by handing them the powers to improve bus services.
“We all deserve good public transport provision, no matter where we live.”