A pledge on transit “minimum infrastructure guarantee” for rural communities? (UK)

  • Date: 01/16/2023

A public transport system that is reliable, affordable and green should be a basic right. But it isn’t, and in our coastal towns and villages, it is all too often unreliable, expensive and dirty. People who rely on public transport – mainly buses – in these areas do not understand why their services aren’t as reliable as those in major cities. They ask why their buses are all diesel-powered, while big city buses are green.

One way forward is a policy of guaranteed minimum standards in public services or a “minimum infrastructure guarantee” as suggested in the report of the Commission on the UK’s Future led by Gordon Brown. A transformational idea lies within this unexciting name: minimum standards for every citizen, no matter where they live, on transport, communications networks and local amenities. One of the report’s flagship proposals is to devolve powers away from Westminster. A minimum infrastructure guarantee, alongside other citizens’ “rights”, would ensure that local politicians, with their newly devolved powers, could not erode the basic, non-negotiable elements of our communities and the local economy, as the Tories have done.

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