Katy Clark has said local bus services are in a “state of crisis” and has called on the Scottish Government to take urgent action following a raft of cancellations in West Scotland.
In a parliamentary motion, the West Scotland MSP cited statistics showing the number of driver vacancies in the sector and the tiny number receiving subsidised support to train.
The call comes after operator Stagecoach cancelled dozens of services in Ayrshire earlier this month due to “staff shortages”.
Last week, Katy also wrote to the First Minister calling for her personal intervention after Stagecoach indicated its intention to cancel the X34 and X46 routes entirely from July.
Katy, who represents Scottish Labour, said:
“Local bus services are in a state of crisis. Recruitment levels are poor and training courses are expensive and workers are leaving the sector due to poor conditions.
“The knock-on effect is private operators, who receive millions in funding from councils and the Scottish Government, cancelling lifeline services for commuters.
“Ministers must urgently provide investment and support so people are incentivised to train as drivers, and strengthen fair work conditions so workers choose to stay in the sector.
“Funding and resources must also be put in place so councils can set up their own bus companies to reverse years of rising fares, reduced routes and falling passenger numbers.”