Reports and Campaigns
Reports and campaigns:
We want our buses back!
WITH ONLY four days after the New Year's holiday to build support for it, We Want Our Buses Back (WWOBB) campaigners in Sheffield were pleased with the 120-strong demonstration on 6 January against First's latest bus fare rises.
After WWOBB convenor Calvin Payne had challenged councillors to back up their words with action, at least six from all four parties on the council, came on the demo.
This reflects WWOBB's success in pressurising the council over the last 18 months and the cross-party support for Quality Contracts (a form of regulation similar to London).
When even the Tory councillor told the rally that he supports re-regulation, you know the bus services must be bad! But it's a bit rich coming from a Tory when it was Thatcher who de-regulated the buses 20 years ago.
And of course the Labour government has not reversed it. Labour council Transport spokesman,Terry Fox, said he hoped to get a Quality Contract by 2009 but "the devil is in the detail."
No Terry, the devil is in New Labour's support for private ownership and opposition to re-nationalisation. As Socialist Party speaker Colin Wray pointed out, "How can you have partnership with private operators like First who are only interested in how much profit they make. That's why We Want Our Buses Back campaigns for re-regulation AND re-nationalisation of all public transport."