This “Catch the Bus Week” Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham, has called on the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority to do better when it comes to local bus services.
The week-long campaign running between 1-7 July is designed to promote the environmental and economic benefits of travelling by bus, as well as champion a fully integrated bus service as a tool in tackling social isolation and increasing connectivity between people and communities.
Like other combined authorities, the Tees Valley Combined Authority and Mayor have the powers to franchise local bus services and take control of pricing, routes and timetabling. In London, franchising has been used to implement a £1.50 flat fare, lower waiting times between buses, and increase evening and night services. So far, however, the Tees Valley Mayor has chosen not to use these powers.
“London bus services are the envy of the world, and the people of the Tees Valley deserve the same. At the moment we have communities across our region, including villages in my Stockton North constituency, who are completely cut off from the rest of the area when bus services stop at 6pm.
“The Tees Valley Mayor has the powers to make positive action when it comes to controlling and directing local bus services, but has so far decided not to do so. Buying an airport is all fine and well, but he needs to do much better when it comes to our bus services.”