Could Galloway soon see the return of a 21st Century verion of the old ‘Corporation Bus’?
Regional Labour MSP Colin Smyth certainly thinks so and is winning supporters in the Scottish Parlaiment for his campaign to allow councils to run their own bus services.
Under his plans, local authorities will be able to run bus services directly or through an arms length municipal bus company with either model free to compete for any other service or franchise.
Currently the only publically-owned, municipal bus company in Scotland is Lothian Buses.
The Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity committee backed the plans to so amend the Government’s Transport Bill by 6 votes to 5 last Wednesday, with only SNP MSPs voting against the Labour’s proposals.
Mr Smyth commented: “Communities want more control over their services.A cross Dumfries and Galloway we have seen cut after cut to our bus network. These have acutely been felt by our most rural communities but have affected everyone trying to travel at nights and weekends when quite often there are no buses running.”