Guildford Labour believes that only a massive rise in the use of buses can keep chronic congestion from swamping Guildford town centre.
Last week Labour announced its policy of providing under 25s with free bus travel. The shadow transport secretary, Andy McDonald, said: “Buses are vital for easing road congestion and air pollution, but for too long private bus companies have run our services for profit not people.”
Passenger bus journeys are at their lowest level for a decade, with the average number of bus trips made by young people under 21 down by almost 40%. These figures were probably uppermost in the minds of Guildford’s family-run bus company Safeguard which last week announced a “Kid a Quid” bus fare deal for young adults, alongside a range of other new ideas. Safeguard recognise the need to attract and retain young people as the bus users of tomorrow by improving value for money, punctuality and reliability.
Guildford Labour fully support Safeguard’s attempts to bring young people back onto Guildford’s buses, but also recognise that only a national initiative such as that proposed by The Labour Party can really create the step change in bus use that all our towns need to see if they are not to be choked by cars.