I am writing to protest in the strongest terms with respect to the possible inclusion of clause 21 in the Bus Services Bill.
As our Minister for Transport, our MP, John Hayes, will be aware that this clause will prevent councils from creating publicly-owned bus companies.
I would also like to express my dismay that there has been little or no discussion in the public domain about clause 21, thereby preventing communities affected by this decision to contribute their views and allow democratic dialogue to take place.
Living in a rural district, I am unable to use public transport to commute to work due to its limited service.
I would welcome any initiatives to set up additional, affordable public transport to meet needs.
Along with the majority of the British public, I believe that our interests are best served if local authorities are devolved of power to organise our local public transport.
Other regions of the UK, such as our neighbour, Nottingham, still run efficient, publicly-owned bus companies.
In my opinion, other councils and their communities, would benefit strongly from adopting Nottingham’s example.
I do recognise that perhaps some regions may benefit from a local franchise due to extremely poor or non-existent bus services, however, I believe that all councils should have the power to establish publicly-owned bus services if they wish to do so.
The financial benefits and effectiveness of publicly-owned transport systems are undeniable and, for that reason, I would urge Mr Hayes to remove clause 21 from the bus services bill.