Call for better bus services

Claire Baker MSP is joined at Holyrood by local bus drivers
Claire Baker MSP is joined at Holyrood by local bus drivers

AREA MSP Claire Baker has joined union members and bus drivers in a united call to protect and improve the transport service.

Unite the Union has launched a campaign which culminated in an event at the Scottish Parliament recently, with a lobbying of Holyrood at the front entrance, followed by a well-attended meeting in a committee room.

The Unite lobby highlighted the impact of the SNP’s decision to cut the bus service operator’s grant by 17 per cent, which has resulted in higher bus fares and the withdrawal of services.

The cut to the grant has also led to the loss of jobs in the industry, Ms Baker said.

The MSP added: “It is the local communities across Fife and the whole of Scotland that are having to pay the price of the cut administered by the SNP Government.

“Fares are rising while the numbers of services are being reduced, so people are paying more but getting less and that simply is not fair.

“Buses can be a lifeline for many in Fife, particularly for people on a lower income and those that can’t afford a car.”

Ms Baker says she has recently had complaints from constituents who struggle to get into the nearby Kirkcaldy town centre, with the lack of a bus service meaning it’s easier for them to drive to retail parks on the outskirts.

“This has a knock-on effect on local businesses in Fife as footfall in the town centre suffers,” she added.

“With 63 per cent of all car trips being less than five miles in length, we should be encouraging people out of their cars and onto public transport.

“If this government is serious about having a sustainable transport system and meeting its climate change targets, then it has to prove it with actions, not just words.”