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Bus strike statement

By Alex Noble - Own work, CC0,

The Green Party of County Durham (CDGP) is calling for the return of bus services to public ownership as the long running strike continues, which has seen many residents stranded and suffering hardship.

Employees of Go NorthEast are currently on indefinite strike over pay and conditions.

The Green Party of County Durham believes public transport is vital to Britain’s transition to a low carbon economy. If we could have public transport that was as convenient as private transport (privately owned cars), then surely many more people would be happy to take that option and do without their cars.

A revitalised public transport system under local ownership and control and not run for profit is critical to reducing car usage and therefore improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions.

We back the workers seeking better pay and conditions. They provide a key service that helps the residents of County Durham get to work, to the shops, to important appointments and to leisure activities.

The business model of for-profit companies providing public transport is broken. At a time when we need more buses and attractive fares to help the environment, all we have seen is a massive reduction in bus services and higher fares. That will continue as long as companies who operate for profit to enrich shareholders at the expense of customers are in control.

We call on Go NorthEast to improve their offer to their employees in order to end this dispute as soon as possible for the benefit of their customers, who are suffering real hardship, and the wider economy.