A national conference on the scandalous decline in UK bus services will bring together passengers and campaigners to share experiences and demand urgent change.
Yorkshire and Humber Pensioners’ Convention will host the conference – ‘Campaigning for Outstanding Bus Services’ – in York, from 11am to 4pm on Saturday, 17th June 2023.
Four expert speakers will address delegates on the impact of the disastrous disappearance of our bus services, and lead discussions on how the crisis can be overcome.
National conference will discuss disastrous impact of our disappearing bus services
Fran Postlethwaite, YHPC secretary and convenor of the Better Buses for South Yorkshire group, said: “The conference has been greeted with enthusiastic support from across the UK. Just last year almost 1 in 10 bus services across the country were axed. Everywhere people have seen disastrous cuts in bus services which leave communities isolated and the most vulnerable people in our society unable to access health services, shops and banks or visit family and friends.
“It’s the elderly, the disabled and the poorest in our communities who suffer most. A third of households in South Yorkshire do not have a car – and the buses are now so unreliable that those trying to get to hospital appointments are forced to pay for expensive taxis. Many pensioners and people with disabilities wonder, “What’s the use of a bus pass if there’s no bus?”
The conference will bring together activists, campaigners and trade unionists to hear keynote speakers: Ellie Harrison, from Get Glasgow Moving; Brad Taylor, from the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England;Jan Shortt, General Secretary of the National Pensioners Convention; and Matthew Topham, from We Own It. The speeches will be followed by workshops to develop ideas for future actions and events.
The YHPC has an active transport group which campaigns around issues like the crisis in bus services. In December 2019 they published a transport manifesto, “Better Bus Services: good for people, good for the planet.”
Fran Postlethwaite commented: “The crisis in business services we face now will only worsen unless we can win guaranteed funding and an end to the failed privatisation in 1986 of what should be a public service. Since then, the private bus companies have put the drive for profitability before the needs of communities, and the result has been reduced routes, ever-increasing fares and falling passenger numbers. Our congested roads increase carbon emissions and pollute neighbourhoods.
‘Campaigning for Outstanding Bus Services’ Saturday, 17th June 2023
“Across the country, people have organised locally to protest at bus cuts. In South Yorkshire we have campaigned for the transport authority for the franchising of bus services which gives public control over routes and fares.”
Conference sponsors include the National Pensioners Convention, the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, “We Own It” and many trade unions, community and climate groups from across the country.
*The National bus conference: “Campaigning for outstanding bus services”.
Saturday, June 17th 2023, 11am to 4pm.
In person at Friends Meeting House, Friargate, York YO1 9RL
and on Zoom.
**Registration details and information on speakers and workshop sessions are at: https://yhpctransportaction.wordpress.com
Download the press release