Last week’s UK Bus Summit underlined the strong case for supporting local bus services, but there is growing frustration that policy-makers are still not getting the message

 

Claire Haigh, chief executive of Greener Journeys

 

The case for backing buses is perhaps stronger than ever – boosted by the role they can play in tackling poor air quality in many urban areas. But there is growing concern the case is not being heard by policy-makers, and some are calling for bolder and more vigorous lobbying tactics.

There is frustration that the industry’s voice is “too shy” and is “weak” in comparison to other sectors. CPT, the bus industry’s trade body, has responded with a vow to become more pro-active.

Nusrat Ghani, who was appointed buses minister on January 9, declared herself to be “a huge advocate for buses” at last week’s UK Bus Summit in Westminster, but the industry is looking for more than warm words. It wants action to help address falling bus use across the UK, including measures to tackle ever worsening traffic congestion.

It is crucial that tackling congestion is the cornerstone of air quality strategies

Having departed immediately after her speech, Ghani missed a barnstorming presentation by Claire Haigh, chief executive of Greener Journeys (pictured). After setting out the evidence, Haigh urged: “It is crucial that tackling congestion is the cornerstone of air quality strategies.”

 

The full story appears in the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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