Tom to highlight concerns over the costs of public transport on Teesside in debate

Tom Blenkinsop MP will use an Opposition Day debate tomorrow (9th January 2013) to voice his concerns over the rising cost of public transport.

Tom’s timely speech will come during the same week as bus operator, Arriva, increase fares across many parts of the North East.

Ahead of the debate Tom said:
“Bus passengers on Teesside are being taken for a ride again, this time to deliver yet another fare increase for cash rich bus giant Arriva, a firm which has a virtual monopoly on routes in my constituency. This is part of a dismal pattern which has been in place since the de-regulation introduced by a past Tory Government.

“My campaign last year calling on Arriva to ‘Freeze the Fares’ was well supported by people from all across Teesside. Unfortunately, Arriva failed to listen and residents have every right to feel aggrieved at yet another fare increase.

“The yearly rises do not correlate with the results visible to my constituents namely: the erosion of local routes with minimal notice; a steady decrease in operating hours; huge barriers being erected by cash rich bus giants against small operators who want to provide a genuine local service and a tendency to constantly demand higher subsidies from cash-strapped local councils.

“This should not come as a surprise to the Government. In 2010 a report by the Transport Select Committee warned that Teesside and North Yorkshire were among the parts of the country worst affected by bus cuts, and that matters were to get worse unless there were changes in the policy regime for local bus services.

“On a human level these cuts over the years have prevented people from taking up jobs offered to them, visiting sick relatives, shopping and going to college. These are personal tragedies and personal losses for local people and, cumulatively, the area we live in.”

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