Local bus services across Scotland have dropped by 38% since 2007, new figures from Labour show.
The party’s analysis of reports from the Traffic Commissioners revealed that over 1,200 bus routes have been lost between 2007 and 2023, including 160 in the last year alone.
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar and Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh slated the SNP’s record on buses ahead of a visit to Rutherglen and Hamilton West on Thursday.
It comes after First Bus Glasgow announced it will axe 11 night bus routes in August, including several serving Rutherglen and Hamilton.
The party also slam SNP for “failing to enact” franchising legislation allowing councils to take back control over services, powers which were introduced as part of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019.
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “Bus routes in Scotland are collapsing while the SNP is standing idly by.
“For almost four years now the SNP has delayed giving Councils the power they need to take control of local services and put an end this decline.
“This failure will do lasting damage to our communities, our economy, and our planet.
“It’s time to help councils bring buses back into public hands so we can run services for people instead of profits and deliver the reliable, affordable services we need.”
Statistics from the Traffic Commissioners have shown a 38% drop in local bus routes in Scotland between 2007 and 2023, representing 1,214 routes lost and 160 in the past year alone
Louise Haigh, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, said: “The staggering decline in local bus services under the SNP is nothing short of vandalism against communities in Scotland.
“The Scottish Government has the power to change this, but the SNP have dragged their feet and refused to act, even as communities have been robbed of essential services.
“Scottish Labour would put passengers first by supporting communities to take back control over their bus services.”
Transport Scotland has been contacted for comment.
List of Glasgow Night Bus Services Affected:
- Service N2 (East): Sauchiehall Street – Central Station (Renfield St) – Parkhead – Shettleston – Baillieston – Easterhouse.
- Service N2 (West): Central Station (Hope St) – Partick – Dumbarton Road – Clydebank – Faifley
- Service N6 (South): Sauchiehall Street – Central Station (Union St) – Victoria Road – Clarkston – East Kilbride – Calderwood
- Service N6 (West): Central Station (Hope St) – Great Western Road – Anniesland – Clydebank – Mountblow
- Service N9: Sauchiehall Street – Central Station (Union St) – Paisley Road West – Paisley Cross
- Service N18: Sauchiehall Street – Central Station (Union St) – Rutherglen – East Kilbride – Greenhills
- Service N38: Sauchiehall Street – Central Station (Jamaica St) – Shawlands – Giffnock – Newton Mearns – Crookfur
- Service N57: Sauchiehall Street – Central Station (Jamaica St) – Shawlands – Darnley – Pollok (Peat Road)
- Service N60: Central Station (Hope St) – Maryhill Road – Science Park – Canniesburn Toll – Drumchapel
- Service N240: Sauchiehall Street – Central Station (Renfield St) – Parkhead – Tollcross – Viewpark – Bellshill – Motherwell – Wishaw – Coltness – Cleland
- Service N267: Sauchiehall Street – Central Station (Union St) – New Gorbals – Rutherglen – Cambuslang – Hamilton – Hillhouse
A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “We are aware of the importance of bus services and are committed, in conjunction with operators and local authorities, to improving services to ensure everyone has accessible public transport regardless of geographic location.
“There is a broad package of long-term investment in bus, including through the Network Support Grant, Community Bus Fund, and for bus priority infrastructure, together with the enhanced suite of options for local transport authorities to improve bus services according to their local needs, including formal partnerships, franchising and running their own bus services.
“The bus provisions in the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 empower local authorities with the flexible tools they need to respond to their own transport challenges.
“The Scottish Government has already delivered powers to allow authorities to run their own buses, which sits alongside their existing ability to subsidise services. Secondary legislation to enable bus franchising and partnership options will be introduced before the end of this year, to enable local transport authorities to begin developing their preferred options for improving their local bus services.”