By Lucy Ashton
Labour has today (Thursday August 10) revealed shocking new statistics that show local bus services in Scotland have collapsed by 38 per cent since the SNP took over Holyrood in 2007.
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar and Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh slated the SNP’s record on buses ahead of a visit to canvas the Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency which was held until recently by SNP.
Labour’s analysis revealed that over 1,200 bus routes have been lost between 2007 and 2023, including 160 in the last year alone.
Communities are set to be hit by even more cuts following the bombshell news that First Bus Glasgow is axing 11 vital night-bus routes later this month, including several serving Rutherglen and Hamilton.
However communities are powerless to act to stop decisions like these, as SNP Ministers have failed to enact crucial franchising legislation which would allow Councils to take back control over services.
The Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 introduced bus franchising powers – however almost four years on the SNP has still not enacted this part of the Act.
Scottish Labour has pledged to fix Britain’s broken bus system by putting control over services back into the hands of the communities that depend on them.
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “Bus routes in Scotland are collapsing while the SNP is standing idly by.
“For almost four years now the SNP has delayed giving councils the power they need to take control of local services and put an end this decline.
“This failure will do lasting damage to our communities, our economy, and our planet.
“It’s time to help councils bring buses back into public hands so we can run services for people instead of profits and deliver the reliable, affordable services we need.”
Louise Haigh, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, said: “The staggering decline in local bus services under the SNP is nothing short of vandalism against communities in Scotland.
“The Scottish Government has the power to change this, but the SNP have dragged their feet and refused to act, even as communities have been robbed of essential services.
“Scottish Labour would put passengers first by supporting communities to take back control over their bus services.”