23 APRIL 2012
LOCAL SNP CANDIDATE AND CHAIRMAN OF MCGILL’S
BUS COMPANY ACUSES GOVERNMENT OF BEING “PIG HEADED”
ON CUTS TO BUS SERVICES
A local SNP candidate for the Inverclyde council election on 3 May has accused the government of “pig headedness” in pushing through cuts to bus operators.
Ralph Roberts managing director of McGill’s Bus Service and the former chairman of Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) Scotland also accused the government of being in “denial” about realising the impact changes will have on jobs.
Labour’s Transport Spokeswoman Elaine Murray taunted the SNP Minister Keith Brown on the comments made by Ralph Roberts during the Labour Party led debate on cuts to bus services on Thursday.
The Scottish Government cut the Bus Service Operate Grant (BSOG) by 17% early this month.
The bus industry also recently made claims that ordinary passengers would be forced to pay for the funding shortfall of between £7million and £9million as the concessionary travel scheme ran out of money in 2011/12.
Ralph Roberts said;
“There has been much written and said about the BSOG and there is a common thread of denial from the Government on this”
“This vexes me greatly. The Scottish Government has earned its position as it did a very good job in the previous parliamentary term. In this matter, however, it is being pig-headed and obstinate”.
Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Duncan McNeil said;
“I am fearful about the impact that the cut to the bus grant will have on fairs, services and jobs”
“Already throughout Scotland, bus services users are experiencing fare rises, and many are witnessing services being cut or withdrawn altogether”
“Given the fact the SNP has failed to listen to concerns of operators, bus service workers and passengers I suggest that they listen to their very own council candidate in Inverclyde, Ralph Roberts”
“A fully operational local bus service makes a real difference to the lives of ordinary working people and I will be working hard to ensure that local bus services are protected”