[Wera Hobhouse MP for Bath (centre) with Southdown Councillors Dine Romero and Paul Crossley at a local bus stop. Photo credit Clive Dellard.]
Local councils should be given the powers to run their own bus services says Bath MP Wera Hobhouse.
At a Bus Funding Statement on 17th May, Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson and MP for Bath, Wera Hobhouse, pressed the Roads and Local Transport Minister, Richard Holden, to lift the ban on local authorities.
Mrs Hobhouse highlighted that the Western Traffic Area had lost 51 routes between 2021 and 2022 with a total of over 1,100 bus route losses nationally.
Bath’s MP pointed to central government not giving local councils the power to run their own services as the issue and asked the Minister to address this.
In response, Mr Holden said that the government was “prepared to consider different proposals”. He made no signal as to whether this would result in councils being able to run their own bus services.
Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson and MP for Bath, commented:
“The Conservatives are proving themselves to be completely exhausted and out of ideas. All they can now say is that they ‘are looking at options’. There is never a solution.
“This government has nothing left in the tank, and we desperately need a change. It can be guaranteed that whilst this clueless shambles lurches from crisis to crisis there will be no improvement in the services that really matter to my constituents.
“It is clear, with this lack of direction from central government, that local councils should be given the ability to run bus services. They must be given these powers urgently or we will see more people cut off, without the transport they need to go about their daily lives.”