Rosie Cooper MP said:
“I believe that the people of West Lancashire are getting a poor deal when it comes to bus services. Increasingly people are left isolated and excluded unable to get to the hospital, to visit family and friends and they can be cut off from vital job opportunities.”
“I fully understand the problems people face locally as we lose more bus services. The problem stems from the Conservatives privatisation of bus services in the 1980’s. Commercial operators want to make a profit and Lancashire County Council do not have the money to excessively subsidise services. Some routes have been subsidised by anything from a few pounds to thirty pounds per passenger per journey which is why I asked a question of the Prime Minister specifically on buses. I am working hard with all parties to find a solution. We urgently need a solution”
“West Lancashire District Council did not agree a scheme with the other councils within Lancashire to allow the disabled and pensioners free travel across their boundaries unlike some other Counties which have managed to do this. The free bus passes announced by Gordon Brown is a national scheme, which if only we could sort out the local bus problems, elderly people and the disabled will get great benefit from. Even so, West Lancs District council is only using £700k of the £900k that the Government gave it for concessionary travel for the elderly and disabled people."
"In 2008 pensioners and disabled people will be able to travel free nationally - it will not depend on local councils agreement.”