The Government’s policy of subsiding bus services, has actually led to fewer passengers getting on board.
However, the results are not uniformly bad. Bus use in many Liberal Democrat controlled areas, such as York and Cambridge are experiencing growth through effective partnerships with bus operators. If Alistair Darling genuinely wishes to see more people getting out of their cars and on to buses, he must give local areas much greater flexibility and freedom over bus services.
And then we roll time even further back to December 2005 and a National Audit Office report:
Labour's [sic] have comprehensively failed to meet their targets for increased bus use outside London.
The picture however is not uniformly bad, with bus use in Liberal Democrat controlled councils like York and Cambridge experiencing growth through effective partnerships with bus operators. If Alistair Darling genuinely wishes to see people out of cars and provide a safe, reliable and affordable public transport system, then he has to provide local areas with greater flexibility and freedom over bus services.
Mad, unoriginal or back in time?
Meanwhile, here's a thing about buses. Birmingham Friends of the Earth have been running a survey of the council candidates asking five questions to test their green credentials.
First up is
Q1 : Bus lanes: Do you agree that there should be more bus prioritisation lanes, including on the Tyburn Road?
Unsurprisingly, Paul Tilsley, the man with the personalised number plate (I kid you not), comes out against bus lanes and is backed by his colleague David Osborne. Curiously, though, Tory Cllr Timothy Huxtable is in favour of restoring the bus lanes on the Tyburn Road. Cllr Huxtable is, of course vice-chair of the Transportation and Street Services Scrutiny Committee. Perhaps he should have a quiet word with his colleague Len Gregory, the man who scrapped those very same bus lanes. He actually suspended them pending consultation, but that has been running for three years and a decision was due in January this year.
I'm not holding my breath.