Welsh Government considers plans to nationalise bus routes
Lee Waters, the Deputy Climate Change Minister, says the Welsh Government could give local authorities the power to nationalise bus routes.
Describing the current transport system as “dysfunctional” he also said that under the current arrangements in Wales “commercial bus companies can basically do what the hell they like”.
Speaking to ITV Wales’ current affairs programme, Sharp End, Mr Waters said the government is looking at ways to make it easier for local councils to set up public companies to run transport services.
“But we’re not entering this with an idealogical view, we will do what’s best for the passenger,” he added.
“We want to plan the system in a far better way, take out the randomness of the private market, which is the legacy of the 80’s privatisation.
“At the moment commercial bus companies can basically do what the hell they like and we have no way of saying this route needs a bus service.
“We want to move onto a planned system, where we’re calling it franchising, where we take an area and we say right here’s the amount of subsidy; here is where we want the route; here’s the frequency; here’s the cost, now let’s make a bus service work for people rather than work for shareholders.”
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This is sensible. I tend to be against nationalisation of most services and industries, but in Wales’ case, ‘socialised’ health and mass transit (in all forms, for both) is probably the best fit – geography and population size/density makes private enterprise almost unworkable in covering these services, guaranteeing terrible outcomes. It will, however, always be suboptimal whilst we remain tethered to the UK. But as a working model for an independent Wales, ardderchog.
Do it! There are certain functions which do not cause the public to suffer significantly (other than increased prices) from privatisation Transport has DEFINITELY suffered from privatisation. The disUK has THE WORST public transport I have ever used. Non-integrated, disjointed, overprices, poor quality confusing blobs of competing companies on the same routes. It is an unmitigated disaster. The one exception being the London Tube network which is cheap and efficient (if sometimes overcrowded) Public transport routes are the arteries of commerce and leisure. After chronic Tory cronyism and mismanagement, the UK public transport network is choked by the cholestrol of… Read more »
The UK has prioritised privitisation for the last 40years and what have we seen and in the transport sector in particular? Chronic under investment, big price increases and massive shareholder dividends. Yes, the concept can sometimes promote competition and lower prices but it rarely happens and usually one company or a group of companies (think the big 6 energy companies) dominate. We all know the big 6 cooperate to keep energy prices higher than they should be. So nationalisation is needed or at the very least more regulation to stop corporations ripping us off. Cymru is in desperate need of… Read more »
Just nationalise everything. I have had enough of Welsh taxpayers money being taken out of the country and sitting in London, Panama or the Cayman Islands instead of being used in Wales.
What do you mean Welsh tax payers money taken out of Wales . It’s English tax payers that are funding Wales who do think is going to be paying for this nationalism .the Welsh.. … Dream on ..
The English as per usual ..
Syniad gwych. Brilliant idea for nation building. And then what about following up with a proper north to south railway route that will unite the nation.
Os gwelwch yn dda! I am looking forward to seeing the routes in the north of Wales being nationalised. So fed up of Arriva showing contempt for us with cancelled routes, timetable reductions, buses not turning up and constant price rises. No disrespect to the drivers but it’s such an awful company. Anyone who doesn’t believe me, catch the no.12 bus (Llandudno to Rhyl) and listen to the ‘next stop’ announcements. A computer programmed system that absolutely butchers the pronunciation of our place names through the most irritating of voices. I’m sure this would not be allowed in other countries.… Read more »
Under the current privately operated bus system if routes are not profitable they disappear, hence large chunks of rural wales dont have a bus service – and even in Wales’ cities and towns buses can be scarce in the evenings. The answer is a publicly owned bus system, as is the norm in many european countries.
Exactly. It is not that a profit motive cannot deliver per se, it is that the Welsh landscape and the location of settlements makes it a poor investment. So the civic good doesn’t align with corporate interest and cannot be profitable (without bad practice and corner cutting). Government has to fill the gap, keeping in mind a vision for the betterment of the nation (which is then subject to the electorate’s will via the ballot box). A city with a minimum of 2 million people could benefit from privately operated transit. Wales is unlikely to ever develop a city of… Read more »
What happened in Wrecsam was a direct result of Bus Passes. We went from Crosville efficiency to old banger smokey buses within weeks. No ticket, no service.
For rural routes, use the small, comfy, Mercedes buses.
Straight from the Corbyn playbook.
Little Natasha will be most annoyed at this.
Government. If that’s s government I’ll eat my right foot … That’s s council with ideas of grandeur