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Coalition rejects Labour plan to devolve bus service powers

Hull North MP Diana Johnson today called on the Government to listen to bus passengers in Hull and give them a fairer deal.

Labour tabled a Commons motion proposing to give local authorities such as Hull new powers to deliver more frequent, cheaper and greener bus services, with integrated Oyster-card style ticketing.

Since 2010, the Tory-led Government has cut local bus funding by 17% and imposed deeper cuts on Hull than on wealthier areas. As a result, over 1,300 routes in England have been cut and fares have risen five times faster than wages.

Meanwhile, the bus market is broken. The Competition Commission has estimated the failure in competition within the bus market is costing taxpayers £305m each year.

Although today’s Commons motion was voted down by Lib Dem and Tory MPs, the next Labour Government will legislate for a simple, timely procedure for cities and county regions to be given greater control over local bus services.

Through the ability to determine routes, set fares and integrate bus services with other forms of public transport, cities will be able to provide seamless travel at one clearly understood price.

Hull North MP Diana Johnson commented: “People in and around Hull are facing cuts to local bus services and ever-increasing fares. 1,300 bus routes have been cut in England under the Coalition and fares have risen five times faster than wages.

“I back Labour’s plan to hand power back to city and county regions so we can get the efficient, reliable and more affordable bus services local people and businesses need.”

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