I am wholly in favour of recent proposals made to the Council to re-regulate the buses in Greater Manchester.
The 1980s deregulation of buses meant that private companies could run a public service without any oversight from the Government. This makes the service far less democratically organised, and gives private transport bosses the freedom to hike fares and axe less profitable routes. It also means that they are not accountable to the people, only to the ‘free market’.
The impact of this is that services can be substandard, buses can be routinely late and timetables can ignore the needs of customers, but customers cannot do anything about it, because there is no alternative.
This is why we desperately need regulation to prevent big companies riding rough-shod over the needs of my constituents. We need rules by which companies must abide, and an authority that has the power to put sanctions over companies that do not serve the public interest fully.