Government must call halt on privatisation of bus routes – Ellis
Sinn Féin Transport spokesperson Dessie Ellis has called on the Minister for Transport and the Fine Gael/Labour government to drop their plans to privatise bus routes currently operated by public transport companies.
He made his comment as the National Bus and Rail Union meet with the National Transport Authority to discuss the plans which have been rammed though under the current government.
Deputy Ellis continued:
plans are an attack on our vital public transport services. They
seek to begin a process of carving up public transport routes to the
highest bidder. Our public transport network at present runs on the
basis of need, serving the bigger purpose of connecting our towns and
profit companies are not interested in these and will seek to
cut costs, drive down wages, limit service and maximise profit in
their own interest rather than the interest of the country.
“Privatisation of public transport has been shown to be an utter
failure in other countries even those with very strong existing rail
and bus networks. Privatisation in London has driven up costs for tax
payers and service users to create fat profits for private operators.
Bus has shown in recent years that public transport companies
can weather hard times and continue to provide good service. It
continues to receive a very low subsidy by the state which has
decreased in recent years.
public transport network is far from perfect and requires
attention, reform and investment - but putting private profit over
public service is not the answer and will cost us all more in the long