GOVERNMENT OFFERS NO HOPE FOR STRANDED NORTH EAST BUS PASSENGERS
Catherine spoke this week of the importance of accurate and consistent real time data for buses in the North East.
Speaking during a debate secured by Newcastle Central MP, Chi Onwurah, on the inadequacy of Real Time Information in the North East.
Catherine set out during that debate that: “There are constituents who are left stranded regularly, schoolchildren left standing in the dark, people missing hospital appointments or, like she says, having to walk”.
Catherine highlighted that those residents not served by the metro network rely on bus services as the only form of public transport, leaving them paying for costly tax services if buses do not arrive on time or according to stated schedules.
Supporting Chi Onwurah’s debate, Catherine added “Does she agree with me how important this Real Time Information is so that people can rely on public transport and that we can grow our public transport service as well because it has a regular customer base that trusts it.”
Disappointingly, the Minister responding, Hexham’s Guy Opperman, offered no reassurance to residents for any improvements in Real Time Information for the North East.
Following the debate, Catherine added:
“Reliable bus services are essential for many residents in the North East but at the moment too many are left let down, and too frequently stranded, by a bus network that doesn’t work for them.
“I have heard from residents with children stranded after school when buses don’t turn up as scheduled, or missing hospital appointments or work. The Minister offered nothing to residents to reassure them that the Government understood the issue and would take action.
“Labour would put people back in control of public transport, with the power to set bus routes and fares. The new North East Mayor offers the opportunity to take action and Kim McGuinness has set out a plan to create a fully integrated transport network with integrated real time information. This means that real time information will be provided by one source instead of multiple confusing apps, giving residents the reliable and clear service they deserve.”