Harlow Labour leader questions Robert Halfon’s bus petition

News / Thu 20th Jul 2023 at 04:28pm

THE LEADER of Harlow Labour has questioned Robert Halfon’s petition regarding bus provision in Harlow.

Councillor Chris Vince said: “When government ministers need to launch petitions against bus companies you know that the system of bus franchising is broken!  

Mr Halfon seems to have conveniently forgotten he is part of this government.  The fact that he is apparently powerless to challenge Arriva on their failure to provide an adequate service for Harlow and instead must launch a petition, notably 4 months after local resident Hilda Cook did the same, and after the Labour group contacted Arriva directly and also raised the issue at Full Council, is surely a cause for concern.

One of the comments under the YH Harlow article about this petition correctly identifies that it was, in fact, the Conservative Government of the 1980’s which first deregulated this country’s bus services.  Part of the failure of this deregulation is that there is no duty for bus companies to maintain routes if they are not considered profitable. As a result many rural routes have been cut and towns like Harlow have seen less profitable routes slashed.

Some County Council’s have taken their bus services back in house, but with over a decade of cuts to local government finances this isn’t an option for all councils.  

“The solution to the problems caused by cuts to bus routes, like those inflicted upon Harlow residents, must come from central government.  Those companies who can’t maintain their service should have their contracts taken away from them and replaced with a co-operative model where bus users and drivers have a greater say over how their service is run.

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6 Comments for Harlow Labour leader questions Robert Halfon’s bus petition:

David Forman
2023-07-21 02:30:33

With private bus companies the overriding imperative is to make profit. Service to the fare paying public is a secondary consideration. Renationalising bus companies is the answer, but it won't be done by a Sir Kid Starver led Labour government.

2023-07-21 09:07:33

Well David the Tories will not do anything about this situation that they again have caused themselves. So what’s the answer to this and many many more problems the people of this country are facing at the moment, we’ll the Tories out of government would be a great start.

Michael Patrick
2023-07-21 09:22:25

other euro country manage to run public services under gov control. we have deaest worse in europe. Harlow and Districk trades Union Council (FB)

Common sense
2023-07-21 11:27:44

Regarding the number 9 bus and people moaning at tumbler road just get Crustybuses 420 to run down there on its way to Epping makes sense

Darren Harvey
2023-07-21 19:33:04

Arriva are not fit for purpose. My daughter is meant to catch a bus outside her school yet the bus doesn't divert as its meant to. Thismeans she then has to walk to another bus stop and wait 30-60 mins for the next one. Despite numerous complaints to Arriva and Robert Halfon, nothing improves

2023-07-23 20:13:04

I do not understand why the 59 Chelmsford bus now goes directly down Gilden Way rather than through Old Harlow Monday - Saturday DUE TO THE NEW ROAD LAYOUT and yet can go through the Old Harlow on a Sunday. Does the layout change magically overnight. I have asked the question more than once through Mike Garnett and am still waiting for an explanation.

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