Government must back a national bus strategy

Gloria De Piero MP.
Gloria De Piero MP.

Buses are a lifeline for many people living in areas live Ashfield, writes Gloria De Piero MP.

People rely on them to get themselves to school or work, to the local shops, to visit friends and relatives and to generally get out and about.

That is why I am so concerned about the state of bus services.

While buses in London are so frequent and cheap that they are a truly viable alternative to driving, that is not the case in the majority of other areas of the country.

They can cost a small fortune for a trip of just a few miles, and it can be impossible to get a bus in the evening or on a Sunday, particularly in villages in rural locations.

I feel one reason for this is Government cuts to local council budgets, which has seen the number of supported bus services falling dramatically in just a few years, leaving people literally stranded.

That is why I agree with the Campaign for Better Transport that a national bus strategy is needed.

The Government needs to take action to protect and improve services, reduce air pollution and congestion, tackle loneliness, increase passenger numbers and see bus services developed to coax people out of their cars.

With three in five public transport journeys made by bus, it is time there was a proper strategy and proper investment in place to make sure bus services serve those who need them.

Having local young people come to do work experience in my Kirkby office is something I have always been keen to offer.

The latest student to come and see what life in an MP’s office is like was Molly Carswell from Sutton.

Molly is studying for her A-levels at Sutton Community Academy and is going to be the first person in her family to go to university.

Only a few minutes after meeting her, it was clear to me that she is going to go far in life.

She has already gained a place on a summer school camp at Cambridge University this summer which is a fantastic achievement.

Good luck Molly and thank you for your work with my team.