25th July 202
The future of local bus services has been a big issue for local communities particularly after major service cuts during Covid. Allowing local Councils to run their own bus services was seen as a major option for improvement.
Last month, Transport Secretary Jenny Gilruth announced that the SNP government had given local authorities the power to run local bus services. This was made possible by the introduction of section 34 of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019.
However, in response to a freedom of information request from the Scottish Daily Express, the Scottish Government stated that "no additional funding has been offered to local transport authorities to run their own bus services following the commencement of section 34 of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019."
South Lanarkshire Liberal Democrat Group Leader Councillor Robert Brown blasted the Scottish Government over their broken bus promises. The Rutherglen South Councillor said:
“It doesn’t take a degree in maths to understand that giving councils a power to run bus services without also providing finance to do so is an empty promise. Not only are the Scottish Government not backing councils with new resources to run bus services, but they have also been cutting council budgets in real terms for a decade or more.
The time for grabbing easy headlines is past. Bus services are in crisis and councils need suitable resources if they are to help do something about it. The climate crisis, more congestion on the roads and reducing bus services in South Lanarkshire and across Scotland requires measures to support more use of public transport.”