Shadow Transport Secretary Michael Dugher MP visited Milton Keynes in December to launch Labour’s new bus campaign – called ‘Passenger Power’ - about putting communities and passengers in control of local bus services.
The Shadow Secretary of State for Transport joined Andrew Pakes, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes South, to meet Citizens MK and MK Bus Users Group on Thursday afternoon at MK Central Station to discuss the charter.
Milton Keynes was chosen as one of the cities to launch the new campaign in due to the local work of Citizens MK and the MK Bus Users Group to develop a Bus Passengers Charter.
The charter seeks to bring together MK Council, bus operators and passenger representatives to set out minimum standards for services, including on passenger information, comfort and quality of services.
Andrew Pakes, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes South, said: “Public transport is so important for many people in Milton Keynes. This was a great opportunity to invite Michael to meet with Citizens MK and the Bus Users Group to hear about their work developing a passenger’s charter.
"Despite some developments, like on the electric bus trials, we have too little power to influence and shape bus services in the city. Labour will help get the balance right so that passengers have a real say over bus routes and services.”
New government figures have revealed that local bus routes in the South East are being slashed on this Government's watch, leaving people stranded. The new figures show that compared to 2011, there were 1 million less miles of local bus services in the South East last year.
The latest figures show that Arriva has a 72.5 per cent share of the bus market in Milton Keynes, with Z&S International providing 9 per cent and Red Rose 7.8 per cent of services.
In 2013/14 2.2 million journeys were made in Milton Keynes by elderly and disabled passengers using concessionary fares.
Labour is setting out a new plan to give local communities greater control over bus routes and services building on the work of the MK Bus Passenger Charter.
The next Labour Government will legislate to give greater control over local bus services to cities and county regions. Through the ability to determine routes, set fares and integrate bus services with other forms of public transport, local areas will be able to provide better services at one clearly understood price.
Michael Dugher, Labour's Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, said: "Local bus services are the lifelines of our communities. The bus market is clearly broken and the way local services are provided is not fit for purpose.
"Labour will stand up for passengers by changing the way things work to hand all English regions London-style powers over local bus services. This will ensure communities get the local bus services they need."