Young people call for fairer bus system

YOUNG campaigners have been staging a high profile campaign for better buses.

They have hung banners from Cabot Tower, occupied the offices of West of England Combined Authority and taken part in a march.

Their efforts have won the backing of Green Party co-leader and Bristol councillor Carla Denyer.

The young people, members of Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate (BYS4C) and Extinction Rebellion Youth Bristol (XRYB, want the leader of WECA, Metro Mayor Dan Norris, to commit to bringing local bus services into a franchise system, which they believe would be fairer.

They are calling for free bus travel for under 25s, students and apprentices and they want the routes that have been axed to be restored.

The campaigners say franchising is successful in London and is about to come in for Greater Manchester.

Five young protesters held a sit-in at the WECA offices in Redcliff.

One of them said: “We’ve occupied WECA’s offices because we need urgent action to fix our broken bus system. Real people across the West of England are being affected by these unreliable services and cuts, leaving many unable to access key services, get to work or school, or see family and friends. WECA needs to be bold and take public control of our local buses.”

Carla Denyer, speaking the following day on College Green, said: “Everyone in Bristol wants our transport system to work better, and buses are vital to creating fairer, greener communities, in this city and across the country. 

“Subsidising public transport can result in savings elsewhere, cutting the costs of congestion, reducing health costs associated with air pollution and helping tackle carbon emissions and the huge costs we will incur from the climate crisis.”