Mistral supports Campaign For Better Transport campaign against bus funding cuts
Chief Operating Officer for Mistral Bus & Coach Steve Low is urging industry professionals to support Campaign For Better Transport’s push against bus funding cuts that could affect smaller operators.
Campaign For Better Transport, an independent organisation governed by a board of Trustees who are recruited on the basis of particular skills or experience, is advocating a petition to Chancellor George Osborne “to protect everyday transport in the spending review” due on November 25.
However, on Monday, November 9, the Department for Transport was one of four departments that provisionally agreed to cut day-to-day spending by 30%.
In her analysis following the announcement, BBC chief political correspondent Vicki Young said: “Thirty per cent cuts sound dramatic but they apply only to day-to-day spending and in departments such as transport, the bulk of expenditure goes on infrastructure such as road and rail upgrades, which won’t be affected.”
But it’s the Bus Service Operators Grant that is of most concern to Campaign For Better Transport and Mistral.
On its website, Campaign For Better Transport said: “We are particularly concerned about the Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG), which could be cut entirely.
“This would mean a loss of £345 million in funding for services that are already in crisis.”
Mr Low added: “The hot potato that is BSOG will surely form part of any future policy discussion being held on the future of bus funding in England.
“Many have forecasted that it will come under pressure since the election, as it enjoyed a largely protected status in the last parliament.
“The level of cuts in all other areas of public funding related to subsidised bus services leaves little else to go after so it should come as no surprise that BSOG is now coming under the spotlight.
“What is certain is that a swingeing cut to BSOG would leave many smaller bus operators with a substantial short fall in their profits, potentially tipping them over the edge into being loss making.
“For this reason alone we have to come together as an industry and support campaigns such as the one below from the ‘Campaign for Better Transport’ and also continue to support the good work undertaken by the CPT, Album and other organisations that lobby for our joint interest at all levels in government.”
Visit the Campaign For Better Transport website for more information and to view the petition.