For the many people in Scotland who do not have access to a car or want to make an environmental choice not to drive, or cannot walk or cycle to their place of work or study, buses are a vital way of getting around. But the bus sector in Scotland is in dire straits.

In the last five years:

  • Journey numbers have dropped 5%
  • The number of kilometres driven by the bus sector has dropped 5%
  • Bus fleet sizes have decreased by 11%
  • There are fewer staff employed in the bus sector.

Lothian Buses in Edinburgh is one of the only bus operators to be bucking this trend.

As a result, people are being cut off from being able to access basic services, or people are being forced into car ownership. There are a couple of key reasons for the decline in buses. One is increased congestion. The other is that often bus services are poorly designed and don’t make a lot of sense from the user’s point of view.

We want councils and communities to have greater control over how, when, and where bus services operate. This means greater regulation of buses.

At present, bus operators can run services wherever they choose to, and the results are not always very well coordinated. On busy routes, there might be several companies competing for passengers. On quieter routes, services are being pulled. We want councils to be able to design and coordinate bus services so that the result are cohesive networks operating in the public interest.

In November 2017 we joined forces with the Get Glasgow Moving campaign, Haud the Bus campaign, Unite Community, Unison, We Own it, and Think Outside the Circle: Extend Glasgow’s Subway campaigns to support Scottish Government proposals to grant local transport authorities greater controls over the bus sector as part of next year’s Transport Bill. A massive 1882 of you took part is urging the Scottish Government to press ahead with these plans in under 1 week, so thank you! We will keep this page updated with progress.

Why we need Better Buses

Nine reasons why bus reform is desperately needed

We’re supporting the Government to allow Local Transport Authorities to run their own Bus Services and to operate highly regulated bus franchises. These are just some of the reasons why.

Read the blog