Cllr Michael Lilley, the Independent Green Isle of Wight Councillor for Ryde East who is also Vice-Chair of Scrutiny Committee and newly-elected Mayor of Ryde is seeking views of the council leadership about taking control of bus services on the Isle of Wight.
Sparked by a letter from Buses Minister Nusrat Ghani MP to all local authorites, reminding them they have the freedom to take greater control of bus services, Cllr Lilley has written to Cllr Michael Beston, Cllr Ian Ward and Cllr Dave Stewart.
His letter reads:
Dear Michael, Ian, and Dave,
I have picked up the recent report and letter from the Bus Minister urging Local Authorities to take control of Bus services.
I would welcome this report and request coming to Policy and Scrutiny Committee for Regeneration. I would hope it is going to be discussed at Cabinet.
In my Ward, it costs just one way over £5.00 to get to Newport and £2.50 just to get into Ryde. This is just impossible for so many residents and creates so much hardship. The hills are steep and although residents can walk you have to be pretty fit.
We desperately need to get more people on buses, we need it for our tourism offer and we need solar-powered electric buses to comply with any target to reduce Carbon Emissions in the future.
This for me is a priority as it is crucial in tackling poverty/inequality on the Island and climate change/reducing carbon emissions. I believe the lack of competition on the Island makes us at the mercy of single operators. I believe simply that bus services should be brought back into public ownership.