Following residents’ feedback about poor, missed and unreliable bus services, Stevenage Labour councillors are launching a campaign to bring better bus services to Stevenage right across the town. We are putting our proposals to a meeting of the Council on 15th December.
Since the 1980s, bus services have been privatised, meaning decisions about bus routes, timetables and fares are made by commercial bus operators. Too often this means bus services organised for profits not people.
Some areas of Stevenage now have no evening bus services and some have no service at all, and bus users find their routes are constantly under threat of cuts. With bus services vital for people’s journeys to work, education, medical appointments, social and leisure activities, these patchy services are just not good enough.
What makes this worse is that Stevenage bus users are finding services cut at short (or no) notice, with up-to-date information just not available.
Labour councillors believe that to meet the town’s ambitions of net-zero carbon as we tackle climate change, it is essential to have regular, reliable, affordable and sustainable bus services.
Councillors are calling for a summit with bus operators to look at the challenges and opportunities of delivering better bus services. We are also calling on the county council (the transport authority for Hertfordshire) to work with us to ensure every area of Stevenage has a bus service and to pledge they will make no further cuts to bus subsidies.
Cllr Sharon Taylor, Leader of the Council said:
‘For too long our residents have put up with second rate, unreliable, infrequent and expensive bus services. This does nothing to encourage the shift we need from cars to public transport to help tackle climate change. Many Stevenage residents can remember the days of the excellent Superbus service which gave us frequent, reliable affordable services. We can, and should, be able to expect the same kind of public transport services that London enjoys so let’s get together with bus operators and the transport authority and work out how we can work towards making that happen.’
Cllr Lloyd Briscoe, Executive Member for Economy Enterprise & Transport said:
‘Residents in Stevenage not only deserve, but need better transport services. A more interconnected Stevenage would boost our local economy, support our commuters and improve our carbon footprint. There is no question that improvements would be of massive benefit to all. The responsibility to deliver this falls at the door of the county council, transport authorities and bus operators, who need to come together to try and come up with solutions to this pressing issue. We want to work collaboratively and play our part in this, putting the voices of residents at the heart of every decision that is made.’