The Scottish Parliament has voted to allow councils like Renfrewshire to run their own bus services, as part of a move that will transform public transport provision across the country according to Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer.
Local authorities had previously been forbidden from running most routes as a result of a Thatcher era law which deregulated bus services, resulting in the fragmented and privatised bus services now operating across much of the UK.
The current system sees commuters pay twice, firstly in rising fares directly to private operators and then through taxation, which is used to subsidise vital routes which those companies do not want to run.
The new legislation is set to allow Renfrewshire to follow the lead of Edinburgh, whose council-owned company, Lothian Buses, is widely accepted as one of, if not the best bus service provider in Scotland.
Mr Greer told Renfrewshire News: “Allowing Renfrewshire and other councils to run their own services is a major step towards public transport actually ran in the public’s interest, rather than for private companies to profit from. I’m delighted we’ve finally ditched Thatcher’s ridiculous bus laws, which have been destroying essential bus services in our communities for decades.
“Three quarters of public transport journeys are made by bus but the number of journeys has been falling year on year as services have been reduced, routes slashed and fares increased. This needs to be made a thing of the past and having bus services ran for passengers, not shareholders, is the way to start.”