Buses high up on agenda in Falkirk for upcoming Holyrood election

Councillor Craig R Martin
Councillor Craig R Martin

Councillor Craig R Martin, Labour’s candidate for the Falkirk East seat in May’s Holyrood election, is continuing his campaign for buses to be regulated by local authorities.

Scottish Labour has adopted this policy with new regulation that would give transport authorities, including Falkirk Council, the power to set service levels and group profitable routes with non-profitable ones, ensuring more services to more communities.

MSP Angus MacDonald

MSP Angus MacDonald

The policy will also include an integrated transport system where one smart ticket could take you across Scotland via all modes of transport – something his SNP opponent for the Falkirk East seat MSP Angus MacDonald says is already happening with the current Scottish Government.

Dr Martin said: “I called on the Scottish Government to fix the broken bus market by bringing in regulation, but that fell on deaf ears.

‘‘We would provide transport authorities, Falkirk Council in our area, with powers to set service levels like an age limit or the size of the bus and group profitable routes with non-profitable routes.

“This is much more power than they have right now which is only the ability to subsidise routes.”

Mr MacDonald said: “I welcome Labour’s support for the Scottish Government’s proposals for Scotland-wide smart ticketing, but they seem to be coming to this rather late in the day as bus and rail operators have already been collaborating with each other to develop new smart and integrated ticketing offerings.

“Transport Scotland is working closely with Scottish transport operators to deliver customer focused, multi-modal, multi-operator smart ticketing across Scotland during 2016-17 and is working to deliver the Scottish Government’s vision that all journeys on Scotland’s bus, rail, ferry, subway and tram networks can be accessed using some form of smart ticketing or payment.”