The Shadow Secretary of State for Transport visited the local area last Friday to discuss Labour’s plans to put passengers at the heart of local transport networks.
Michael Dugher MP met with local residents in Radstock and Keynsham and outlined his proposals to strengthen the area’s bus and train services.
Michael, who was appointed to the role in November last year, called for powers to devolved to English regions on important decisions on local transport and pledged to fix the broken transport market.
He met with Todd Foreman, Labour’s candidate for North East Somerset and Ollie Middleton, candidate for Bath, and discussed the problems faced by commuters in Bath and the surrounding areas.
Michael said: “Season tickets for commuters in this area have shot up by 25% since 2010, bus fares have rocketed and there remains no passenger voice within the sector. Like the energy market, the transport sector requires significant reform.”
“The problem is that all the power is in the hands of bus companies and not in the hands of the passengers.
“City and county regions should be able to negotiate contracts with bus companies to ensure that operators have to run routes and services that are vital to local communities and not only the ones that are profitable”.
“The simple fact of the matter is that services are not being run in the interest of passengers and the people who rely on and depend on them.
“The next Labour government will overhaul the trans- port system by devolving powers on vital decision making to city and county regions and making sure we get a fair deal for passengers.”
Figures show that in 2010, commuters were paying £1,288 for a season ticket from Bath Spa to Bristol Temple Meads.
The same ticket now costs £1,540, an increase of 25% over four years.
Commenting, Ollie Middleton said: “I absolutely agree with Michael that there are fundamental flaws within Bath’s transport networks.
“Since 2010, tickets have increased by 25% and bus fares have been going up and up. Londoners have a say on how their transport services are run so why can’t we have the same here in Bath?”
“There are thousands of local residents, commuters in and out of the city and students that rely on the city’s bus and train services so it is vital that we get this right and ensure that we have strong transport networks that are fit for purpose.”