Pledge to provide more bus services
The announcement last week by Jeremy Corbyn that our next Labour government will restore regular and reliable bus services across the country will have been welcomed by many.
We can in no way be classed as a rural constituency in the same way that some are completely cut off from public transport, but there are communities in Wansbeck that have been disadvantaged as a result of funding cuts leaving them with a much poorer bus service.
The value of a regular, reliable bus service cannot be over-emphasised because for many people in communities such as Cambois and North Blyth, but not exclusively those, their local bus is a lifeline, not just to get to work, but to access shops and other amenities, such as hospitals or doctors surgeries.
Over the past decade cuts in funding amounting to £645m have led to more than 3,000 bus routes being axed or reduced across the country while fares have soared, creating a public transport crisis that we plan to tackle with our proposals to invest heavily in not only reversing those cuts, but funding new bus services.
Public transport is not only key to allowing people to go about their daily lives, but also to help combat climate change by reducing car journeys. However, people will only leave their cars at home if there is a reliable alternative bus service.
More journeys are made on buses than any other form of public transport and buses are crucial to the economic prosperity and social wellbeing of communities.
The crisis in bus travel is damaging those communities, with the young, old and disabled particularly affected, and where bus travel on less busy routes is subsidised by cash-strapped councils, they have been forced to cut deeply into the amount of money they can afford to keep the buses running.
It is a crisis the announcement by Jeremy Corbyn aims to address as a matter of urgency and great importance.