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Chamber and committees

Motion ref. S6M-04754

Bus Services

Submitted by: Katy Clark, West Scotland, Scottish Labour.
Date lodged: Thursday, June 9, 2022

Supported by: Foysol Choudhury, Monica Lennon, Pauline McNeill, Carol Mochan, Paul O'Kane, Colin Smyth, Paul Sweeney, Mercedes Villalba
Current status: Has not yet achieved cross-party support

That the Parliament believes that local bus services are a lifeline that enable communities to access essential services, but that they are currently in a state of crisis; understands that bus fares have risen by 58% in real terms since 1995; further understands that rail passenger journeys fell by 43% between 1986-97 and 2019-20; notes with concern the reported cancellation of dozens of bus journeys in Ayrshire by the operator, Stagecoach, due to “staff shortages”; further notes the reported comments by the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK – Scotland (CPT), which represents operators, indicating that vacancies have doubled since 2019 to an average of 12.5% across Scotland; notes the reported findings of a survey in November 2021 by Unite the Union of members in the sector across the UK, which found that 91% believed drivers were leaving the industry due to pay, 89% due to working conditions and 68% due to long hours; further notes the view that the Scottish Government should ensure that minimum fair work standards are in place for all bus operators in Scotland; understands with concern that only 38 people were supported to train as bus and coach drivers via the employability fund in 2019-20, and fewer than five were supported in 2020-21 and the first quarter of 2021-22; notes the view that the Scottish Government should provide investment so that more drivers are able to receive subsidised training, and to increase recruitment in the sector; considers that municipal bus ownership is an opportunity to reverse falling passenger numbers, cut fare costs and improve standards, and notes the calls on the Scottish Government to provide significant funding and resources so that local authorities are incentivised to develop these networks.