Local Labour Party Backs Campaign Against Bus Cuts

Constituency meeting hears from member of Unite the Union

Over 800 bus worker jobs could be lost if cuts proceed
Over 800 bus worker jobs could be lost if cuts proceed. Picture: YouTube

A campaign by the union representing bus workers has received the backing of the local Labour Party.

The Brentford and Isleworth Constituency Labour Party (CLP) heard an address at its meeting on Wednesday 29 June from a Unite the Union member working at Transport for London (TfL).

It was claimed that the proposed cuts to bus services across London were a deliberate attempt by the Conservative government to sabotage the capital’s transport network by refusing to properly fund it.

The union says that London is the only city in Europe where there is no day-to-day transport subsidy. As a condition of further funding from this government, TfL is proposing to cut bus services to achieve financial savings.

There are six bus garages in the Brentford & Isleworth constituency including the Stamford Brook Garage run by RATP Dev Transit London and Metroline’s Brentford Depot. Although the proposed cuts are concentrated on central London, and have a limited impact on local routes, it is feared by some that this could be the first step towards even deeper cuts being made to the service.

TfL’s Central London Bus Review could mean up to 800 jobs being lost, 250 buses being removed, 16 routes axed. Due to an exceptionally high level of interest in the consultation on the cuts, TfL has extended the closing date by four weeks to Sunday 7 August .

Judy Atkinson, Brentford and Isleworth CLP joint Trade Union Liaison Officer (TULO) said, “By unanimously approving this emergency motion to campaign for our vital London bus services, members have recognised that London’s commuters and key workers deserve a world-class public transport system - not job cuts, attacks on conditions of employment and fare hikes”.

Paul Dodounou, Brentford and Isleworth CLP joint Trade Union Liaison Officer (TULO) emphasised that “buses workers are the backbone of our transport network and buses are critically important to reducing car use, congestion, road danger and pollution. Our public transport system is vital to getting Londoners moving after the pandemic. It is vital to the national recovery from Covid, and it is vital to creating a sustainable, green future.”

“I’m glad to hear that the Hounslow Labour Party has come out against Sadiq Khan’s proposed bus cuts, but their disappointing approach of words over action is in stark contrast to local Chiswick Councillors” said Jack Emsley, Conservative councillor for Chiswick Homefields. “Whilst Hounslow Labour were talking amongst themselves, local Conservative Councillors were busy working with our GLA Member to succesfully reinstate the 533 bus stops in Chiswick. We're taking real action to improve public transport in our borough by successfully fighting against the Mayor’s poorly thought-out bus cuts in Chiswick.”

A Department for Transport spokesperson said with reference to the whole of the country, “We have committed to investing £3bn into bus services by 2025, to improve fares, services and infrastructure, and given nearly £2bn since March 2020 to bus operators and local authorities to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.

“To maximise this investment, local authorities need to ensure that services are commercially sustainable and reflect the needs of passengers post-pandemic.”

Unite the Union has launched a “Back London’s Bus Routes” campaign in which it calls for all proposed bus cuts to be scrapped. It is also urging members of the public to respond to TfL’s survey on its proposals.



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July 5, 2022