Buses blog

Photo: Martin AbramsStarting in April 2013, our buses blog is written by Martin Abrams. Older entries were written by Richard Hebditch and Sophie Allain.

Standing up for buses in North Yorkshire

8 April 2014: It’s very easy to get caught up in the doom and gloom of bus cuts, but there are many good people who stand up and fight against them, Tracy Battensby is one such person and

Tracy

Buses before bingo

20 March 2014: Eyes down! This week the Chancellor stood at the despatch box and delivered his ‘bingo budget’, but there was nothing for buses in his statement.

Martin

The Chancellor must give buses the funding they need and deserve

11 March 2014: Today we sent a clear message to the Chancellor George Osborne that enough is enough and action needs to be taken to halt the decline of our bus services across the country.

Martin

Standing up for buses in Lancashire

14 February 2014:  Recently we heard the great news that Lancashire County Council had u-turned on a decision to cut £3.8m from its bus funding over two years.

Martin

Why the bus pass is great value for the country

1 March 2014: The concessionary bus pass is often criticised as a subsidy to rich pensioners. But in fact it's a vital part of everyday life for millions of people.

Martin

2014 The year people power forced a rethink on bus cuts?

7 February 2014: We are only one month into 2014 but already we have seen a significant number of Local Authorities making financially agonising decisions to cut funding for vital supported bus services.

Martin

Buses in Crisis – What’s happening near you?

23 January 2014: Today we have launched an interactive map that lets you see exactly what is happening to supported

Martin

Almost 50 per cent of Local Authorities are cutting spending on buses

13 December 2013: This week we have published our annual research into supported bus services across England and Wales.

Martin

Local Campaigns Celebrating Success

8 November 2013: It is always great to hear of stories of passionate local campaigners standing up for public transport and doing all they can to make those in power sit up and listen. Daniel Farr from Bristol is one such campaigner.

Daniel

Fewer buses - higher fares - Annual Bus Statistics

25 September 2013: Yesterday the annual bus statistics for England 2012/13 were released by the Department for Transport. The DfT release these stats every year and they often provide stark reading about the state of the nation’s buses.

Martin

Cuts-Watch UK – We need you!

23 August 2013: Over the next few weeks and months we will be conducting research into bus cuts and where they are happening.

Martin

What the Spending Round means for buses

1 July 2013: We have been campaigning hard over the last few months, making the case for buses to MPs of all parties. This is quite simple to spell out; the hard part is getting people to listen in the first instance.

Martin

Why buses must be protected in June's Spending Round

5 June 2013: Over the past few weeks we have been stepping up our work to save our buses from any further cuts in the spending review on 26 June.

Martin

Plans for Better Buses need more clout

26 February 2013: The Government today set out more details of its Better Bus Areas fund. We're all for better transport so we welcome the new fund but it mustn't be a missed opportunity.

Richard

New research shows second year of cuts for buses

12 December 2012: We've just published new research showing that 40% of councils are making further cuts to funding for bus services, after deep cuts last year.

Richard

Going local with bus funding

The Government is giving councils more control over funding for buses. The change mustn't mean passengers lose out.

Richard

Councils and bus companies need to cooperate to save our buses

17 September 2012: We welcome the recommendation of the last Transport Committee report

Andrea

Cuts leave passengers in the dark about bus times

23 May: There’s growing outrage in Lancaster as bus information for passengers is being whittled away.

Sian

Treasury failed on equality duties when it cut bus funding

14 May: The Equalities and Human Rights Commission today criticised Treasury ministers for failing to be clear on how they had fulfilled their equality duties when they cut funding for buses in the 2010 spending review.

Richard

Parish Councils to the rescue?

26 March: There are thousands of parish, borough and town councils up and down the country, and there are millions of bus users in market towns and rural villages who are being hit hard by devastating bus cuts. But what can these councils do, if anything, to help?

Sophie

A silver lining to a black cloud of bus cuts

26 March: We welcome the announcement that Norman Baker will be giving some extra money to buses; but the Government has a long way to go to avoid a funding crisis.

Sophie

What’s the use of a bus pass with no bus to get on?

14 March: We have written a joint letter with the Association of Transport Coordinating Officers to George Osborne calling for urgent action to fill the £60 million funding hole in the bus pass scheme.

Sophie

Welsh cut to bus funding faster and deeper than expected

25 January: With just 3 months warning the Welsh Government has announced this week a 25% cut to the Bus Service Operator Grant from April 1st 2012.

Sophie

Ask first, ignore later?

24 January: We forced Cambridgeshire to freeze bus cuts and go back to the drawing board. But after a full consultation, is the new plan any better? And what lessons can other Councils learn?

Sophie

At last a little good news for buses

9 December: Norman Baker has announced new funding for buses. It’s a good start, but it comes in the wake of severe and continuing cuts to services.

Sophie

“We are cut off. We are on an island”

18 November: A bus user left stranded by cuts speaks out in the BBC East Midland documentary broadcast earlier this week.

Sophie

Save our Buses and our CEO Stephen Joseph recognised for promoting low carbon travel

15 November: Last night, at the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership awards, our Save our Buses campaign won runner up for ‘Low carbon initiative 2011’ and our CEO Stephen Joseph won ‘Outstanding individual in promoting low carbon transport’. A big thanks to all our supporters and local campaigners; we could not have done it without you.

Sophie

Pupils and parents hit by school bus cuts

07 November: Congestion during the school rush hour already causes havoc in many communities, and is set to get worse as many councils plan cuts to school buses.

Sophie

New figures reveal cuts to 1 in 5 council bus services

13 October: We have been busy collecting data on local authority bus cut decisions, using the Freedom of Information Act, and we can reveal that council cuts to bus budgets totalling £36m have resulted in more than 1000 (1114) service cuts.

Sophie

Save our Buses campaign bus; driving our message home at the party conferences

05 October: From the banks of Merseyside to the bustling city centre of Manchester, our campaign bus has been met by huge public support wherever it parks up.

Sophie

Make sure bus cuts in your area aren't breaking the law

22 September: Is your community being left with no public transport?  Were you consulted before your bus was cut? Have vulnerable people been left stranded?

Sophie

Save our Buses tour of the party conferences gets off to a flying start in Birmingham!

21 September: With flyers, a loadhailer and a banner that was literally the size of a double decker bus, we hit the Liberal Democrat party conference in Birmingham with some good old fashioned campaigning.

Sophie

Save Our Buses campaign pack now available!

21 September: Are you losing your local bus? Do you want to fight to get it back? Order your Save Our Buses campaign pack here!

Sophie

From Nottingham to Westminster: a big bus trip with an important message

7 September: Yesterday campaigners by the bus load travelled to the Houses of Parliament to challenge Norman Baker, Minister for buses.

Sophie

A stark warning for urban buses

31 August:  New figures show that one in five big city buses could be gone by 2014, at a cost of £68 million to the economy as our roads become more congested.

Sophie

Coach Concession Cut

31 August: The 50% coach concession for elderly and disabled passengers is the latest victim of government cuts to public transport. The decision could tip a number of coach routes into decline and closure, especially in rural and disadvantaged areas.

Sophie

Calling all East Midlands bus users!

18 August: Ever wanted to put your concerns direct to the Minister for buses? Well here is your chance. With a FREE vintage bus journey to London thrown in!

Sophie

Transport Select Committee calls for urgent Government action to help buses

15 August: After listening to evidence from bus companies, councils, campaigners and bus users this group of MPs have published their report Bus Services After the Spending Review.

Sophie

Get on board our Party Conference Campaign Bus!

2 August: We want to give bus passengers a platform to tell MPs exactly how important buses are to them. So we are taking a double decker campaign bus to the party conferences.  Get on board and have your voice heard!

Sophie

Our calls for joined up bus tendering prove fruitful

2 August: We are pleased that at least two councils are trying new ways of tendering bus services. This could mean savings are made while passengers are protected.

Sophie

Make sure your MP has signed up to support buses

4 July: MPs are there to represent their constituents, and as the bus cuts start to bite it’s time to turn up the pressure.

Sophie

Cambridgeshire County Council U-turn on bus cuts

28 June: Save Our Buses is celebrating the news that the Council will review their decision to cut 100% of support for buses.

Sophie

Looking on the bright side

23 June: There is so much doom and gloom for buses at the moment I thought I would take a moment to celebrate good news.  Read on for some silver lining stories.

Sophie

Young people speak out against bus cuts

2 June: Today a delegation of young bus users delivered a protest video to the Department of Education, calling for more to be done to support public transport options for young people. Their message is clear: young people want buses to be a positive transport option now and into the future.

Sophie

The view beyond the Competition Commission

1 June: Big change in the bus world has been off the table since Jan 2010 while everyone has been waiting for the Competition Commission to finish their review of the industry.

Sophie

Local authority bus cuts could be unlawful

May 11: A Cambridgeshire bus user is taking legal action to hold her council to account over bus cuts. Her message is clear; with budgets tightening across the country it’s more important than ever that impact assessments and consultations don’t end up as an afterthought or a hollow tick box exercise. 

Sophie

Young people’s video competition goes live!

4 May: If you are a young person and you want to talk about why buses are important to you or what you want bus services to be like in the future, now is the chance to get your voice heard.

Sophie

A letter from Philip Hammond

13 April: The Secretary of State for Transport says he welcomes our Save Our Buses campaign, and says that disproportionate decisions made by some local authorities are ‘disappointing’.

Sophie

Can community transport fill the gap?

7 April: Evidence to the transport select committee has revealed that community transport cannot be expected to fill the gap left by swingeing bus cuts.

Sophie

Buses or Roads?

8 March: The future of buses depends on real vision and political will; where it's not there we will have to cultivate it.

Sophie

Backing buses; 28 organisations write to the PM

21 February: From real ale drinkers to school children and ramblers; 28 organisations come together to speak up for buses!

Sophie

We put buses on the agenda

17 February:  What a couple of weeks it has been. Since the launch of the campaign on the 3rd February we have had a huge amount of interest from the media, from other charitable organisations and from the public.

Sophie

Buses Matter

28 January: Do buses matter?

Sophie

We need your help to keep track of bus cuts up and down the country

6 January: Squeezed local authorities across the country are looking to buses to make short term savings at the expense of lifeline bus services.

Sophie Allain

Buses face a perfect storm of cuts

25 November: Dark clouds are gathering as free bus passes are the latest target for spending cuts.

Sophie

A simple formula for buses

4 November: Here’s a bit of good news for once: First is going to reverse some of its bus cuts, and Birmingham is getting a smartcard.

Alexandra

Buses are vital to get people back to work

18 October: Our latest report, in conjunction with Citizens Advice, shows that cuts to bus services would scupper the Government’s plans to reform the welfare system.

Alexandra

We support London’s buses

17 September: Funding for London’s bus network is under threat, and this week I spoke at a union rally outside city hall in defense of the capital’s buses.

Alexandra

Free bus travel only works if we protect bus services

16 July: Free bus passes have enabled millions of older people to retain their independence. But they only work if there are buses to use them on.

Richard

Government must heed message that we need to support bus services

12 July: The Department for Transport will this week submit their bid to the Treasury for what they want to fund over the next three years. There are plenty of powerful lobbies arguing for billions to be spent on building new roads, but the voice of bus users must be heard.

Richard

Transport cuts should be smarter

10 June: The Government has announced plans for reducing local authority grants and it's bad news for public transport.

Cat

Passengers should be told about bus service changes

2 June: Have you ever turned up at a bus stop only to find out the service has been cut? We've told the Government that passengers and local authorities need more warning when changes are made.

Cat

Will the Conservatives support taxibuses?

26 May: The successful Wiltshire Taxibuzz evening service is due to be cut this Friday unless campaigners can prevent it.

Cat

Cut the roadbuilding budget, protect public transport

24 May: The Chancellor George Osborne has announced cuts of £6.2 billion, with £683 million coming from the Department for Transport.

Cat

Wiltshire Council: don't cut the TaxiBuzz

26 April: Later today, bus campaigners are hitting the streets in Devizes to stop the council from cutting a service that people need.

Cat

A fair chance for trams

25 February: We've just had a tram campaign victory that’s worth crowing about.

Cat

Gordon Brown: bus cuts are no joke

18 February: At Prime Minister's Questions recently, a Birmingham MP mentioned a local bus cut and

How to improve your bus network

20 January: If you've ever thought that buses in your area could be better, now is the time to make it happen.

Cat

An Oyster card for the UK

29 October: We've told the Government that Londoners shouldn't be the only ones to benefit from Oyster cards.

Cat

We tell OFT to put passengers first

16 October: The Office of Fair Trading is planning to refer the bus market to the Competition Commission. We've told them this is a bad idea because it will make it harder for local authorities and bus companies to work together to improve things for passengers.

Cat

We make the case for trams

16 October: We've responded to an inquiry on light rail with suggestions for how we can get more trams in UK cities.

Cat

Let's tell Boris not to increase fares

15 October: The Mayor of London's plans to increase bus and tube fares and cut services show where his priorities really lie.

Cat

We tell the Government: bus users aren't second class citizens

8 October: Passenger Focus is going to be the new watchdog for bus passengers, but it won't be able to stand up for them unless the Government rethinks its plans.

Cat

Bus regulation must be a realistic option

7 October: We want to make sure that local authorities can regulate buses where this is needed to improve things for passengers. 

Cat

Local authorities need Government support to improve buses

17 September: Local authorities have new powers they can use to improve buses, thanks to the Local Transport Act. But we're worried passengers will miss out because they're too scared to use them.

Cat

OFT report is flawed

20 August: We recently ran a competition to find the most expensive bus fare in the country. But why are bus fares so high?

Cat

We tell Transport Minister to give trams a chance

20 July: If you visit many European cities, you will see quiet, clean, frequent trams instead of cars hooting at each other. But in this country, we only have a few trams because Government guidance makes it very hard to introduce them.

Cat

Enter our bus fare competition

10 July: Is your local bus fare the highest in the country?

Cat

Tories support taxibuses

8 July: We've been saying for some time that people in isolated rural areas need better public transport. Now we're delighted to see the Tories pick up one of our ideas.

Cat

Low-carbon buses are good, more people on buses would be better

3 July: We've argued that the Government should provide funding for low-carbon buses, so we're glad it has decided to help bus companies and local authorities to buy several hundred of them.

Cat

We ask the Tories to commit to trams

11 June: A tram scheme in Nottinghamshire is under threat because the newly elected Conservative councillors want to cut the Council's funding for it.

Cat

Independent shows Government policy has to change

8 May: The Independent has publicised a fact we've been highlighting for some time now: since Labour came to power, public transport fares have risen while the cost of motoring has fallen, undermining attempts to cut carbon emissions.

Cat

Bus passenger watchdog starts today

22 April: Today we are celebrating the launch of the new statutory bus passenger watchdog that we campaigned for.

Cat
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