Last year thousands of local people took part in my Big Bus Campaign to support an affordable and better connected transport system across our area. This summer, councillors on the Integrated Transport Authority will decide on one of two plans for the future of the bus network in Tyne and Wear. They will decide between a form of re-regulation known as a Quality Contract, which enables bus fares and routes to be managed, similar to the Transport for London model. The alternative is a system preferred by bus operators that doesn't provide the same guarantees, doesn't allow local people to have a proper say and doesn't tackle the underlying problems.
As we approach the decision date, I will be stepping up the campaign. We need real change that puts the needs of local residents and businesses ahead of the the vested interests of the bus companies. I will be keeping up the pressure to see this happen.
On a transport related note, for the first time I recently paid a visit to the Monkwearmouth Station Museum. An absolute gem with some great displays and a must-see for any families with transport obsessed children who can watch trains go past to their hearts' content.