Glasgow Eco Trust is delighted to support the new Better Buses for Strathclyde campaign which calls on Strathclyde Partnership for Transport to take our buses back into public control.

Please sign the petition to support the Better Buses for Strathclyde campaign and make sure you tick ‘Yes, keep me informed via email’ to receive our updates.

Bus services across Strathclyde are in crisis.

Private bus companies receive millions in public subsidies every year,[1] yet they continue to cut our vital services and hike up fares.

This has left many people across our region locked out of jobs and opportunities, unable to visit friends or family, or forced to buy cars.

We’ve seen a vicious circle of decline ever since our buses were deregulated in 1986.

Now finally we have the chance to turn this around.

New powers in the Transport Act 2019 mean our transport authority – SPT – can take our buses back into public control.

Re-regulating the private bus companies (through ‘franchising’) will mean SPT can plan bus routes to serve our communities’ needs and to connect seamlessly with trains, ferries and Glasgow’s Subway.

They can cut fares and deliver one simple, affordable ticket across all transport modes – like Greater Manchester is now doing.[2]

And SPT can also set up a new publicly-owned bus company for Strathclyde – like Edinburgh’s Lothian Buses – which can reinvest profits in improving our network.[3]

The next year is crucial.

SPT is currently developing the new Strathclyde Regional Bus Strategy which will set the direction of bus policy for the next 15 years.[4]

This offers us a once-in-generation opportunity to end the chaos caused by bus deregulation and ensure that public money is used to provide the services that we need.

We call on SPT’s Board to ensure that this Strategy sets out clear plans to use both these new powers in tandem (for ‘franchising’ and to set up a new public operator for Strathclyde).

It’s vital that SPT’s Board also rejects the idea of entering into a so-called ‘Bus Service Improvement Partnership’ with the private operators which would simply maintain the status quo.

We call on the leaders on Strathclyde’s 12 Councils to support SPT to take our region’s buses back into public control.

We call on the Transport Minister Fiona Hyslop and her staff at Transport Scotland to provide the funding and support that SPT need to deliver a world-class, fully-integrated, accessible and affordable public transport system fit for the 21st century.

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Why this is important

Strathclyde is by far the most populous part of Scotland – home to 2.2 million people, with the largest number of bus users.

Our expensive, unreliable and uncoordinated public transport network is holding us back – it’s a disaster for our economy, society and our environment.

Transport is by far the biggest contributor to carbon emissions: mostly from private cars.

The Scottish Government has set the target of reducing car miles by 20% by 2030.[5] Glasgow City Council also aims to have net-zero emissions by this date.[6]

These pressing climate targets will be impossible to meet without a total transformation of our public transport network so that – no matter where you live in our region – you can get around easily without needing to own a car.[7]

As Greater Manchester has clearly shown, this transformation can only be delivered by taking our buses back into public control.

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Better Buses for Strathclyde is supported by:

Image of 19 logos of organisations that support the Better Buses for Strathclyde campaign


[1] March 2023, Scottish Transport Statistics, Transport Scotland
[2] The Bee Network, Transport for Greater Manchester
[3] About Us, Lothian Buses
[4] June 2023, Strathclyde Regional Bus Strategy & Delivery Plan – Award of Contract, SPT
[5] January 2022, 20% reduction in car km by 2030, Transport Scotland
[6] June 2021, Glasgow’s Climate Plan passed unanimously at committee, Glasgow City Council
[7] March 2021, Every Village, Every Hour, CPRE: The Countryside Charity